Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has undertaken to commence the implementation of the new national minimum wage to workers in the State on January 1, 2020.
The assurance was a fallout from the Governor’s assent to the 2020 Budget on Friday at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki.
Umahi however appealed to Organised Labour not to ask for arrears of the wage as the State would not be disposed to paying arrears.
He further explained that apart from the new minimum wage, government has set out additional N500 million for civil servants to access as loans for other businesses of their choice, adding that the combination of both was to enable workers improve their economic lots.
The governor stressed that in view of the fact that some States have either commenced or indicated interest to pay the new wage, Ebonyi could not afford to operate in isolation, in spite of her economic challenges.
While calling on all hands to be on deck to achieve the target, Umahi stressed that all civil servants must be fully and productively engaged in service by 2020 as the days of idling about in the offices were gone.
Umahi said: “I want to make some millionaires next year.
“We still have money that the House of Assembly approved, which is N500 million for the civil servants.
“And another cheering news is that our minimum wage will take effect from 1/1/2020.
“We will be pleading with Labour that we have no ability to pay arrears but they still have N500 million to access to do alternative ventures, which is agriculture.
“But we must get all our civil servants to work next year.
“If you don’t have business carrying files, then you have to start carrying yam or rice.”