The Imo State Government and the Joint Labour Committee have agreed on payment of 70 per cent of January salaries to public servants in the State.
Austin Chilakpu, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, and state government officials told journalists in Owerri on Wednesday that the gross revenue for January stood at N3.37 billion.
Chilakpu explained that it was because of the shortfall that made the committee to cut off 30 per cent of the salaries of workers for January 2016.
“We hope to pay up the balances when the revenue improves,” he said
Government workers in Imo State are yet to be paid January and February salaries after the February 10 mass protest that followed the sack of more than 3,000 workers by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Chilakpu said the verified wage bill of workers and pension for January stood at N5.3 billion, noting that the committee got a difference of about N1.9 billion.
He added that government and the unions agreed to set up 18-man joint committee to oversee the management of revenues to the state with a view to paying workers.
He said: “The committee agreed that 70 per cent of revenue due to the state from all sources shall be set aside for the payment of workers’ salaries, while government will use 30 per cent for capital projects.”
According to the NLC chairman, the committee had in the application of the N3.37 billion for the settlement of salaries and pension, decided to pay salary earners 70 per cent of their salaries across board.
Chilakpu said unions were not going for downward review of workers’ salaries, but only doing the needful with the resources available.
He stated that labour has mobilised its men and to be fully involved in the payment of salaries to check cases of ghost workers.
Chilakpu hinted that unions had set up a committee of experts in financial matters to fast-track the salary payment and improve on revenue generation by the government.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Technical Issues, who heads the government’s side of the committee, Ikenna Emeh, pointed out that the 70 per cent payment of salaries was not fixed.
Meh said: “The committee is an ad-hoc committee and it has no powers to borrow money but only has the authority to apply what was available for the payment of salaries and pensions.”
Emeh said the revenue of the state had increased by 15 per cent in the last month as the IGR of the state also rose from N215 million to N400 million.
He stressed that the sub-committees on IGR set up by the committee were developing new sources of revenue to meet the target of N1 billion monthly.
A memo has been sent to the governor to approve deployment of idle workers in the parastatals to the Board of Internal Revenue, Emeh said.