Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi on Wednesday told the 20-man joint committee constituted by the state for the new minimum wage payment that their job did not imply wage review.
Umahi made the declaration while swearing-in members of the committee comprising of 10 representatives each from the orgainsed labour in the state and the government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor also swore-in a new high court judge, two members of the State Judicial Council and successful candidates for the permanent secretary positions.
He told the committee that Ebonyi was probably the first to inaugurate such committee and it should not hurriedly discharge its functions because the government would not be the first or the last to pay the new wage.
H said: “Minimum wage is not wage review but the total package of what the least paid worker goes home-with.
“In the discharge of your duties, you should let us know how to improve our resources to meet the payment.”
He urged the committee to specially pay attention to the ‘junior workers and ensure that they don’t earn more than the ‘senior workers’.
Umahi said: “You will be on your own if you concentrate in working percentages because we must import and apply all tax heads in places such as Lagos, and Rivers among others, to pay the new wage.
“The resultant effect is that in Local Government Areas, it is going to be 90 per cent workers salary and 10 per cent capital projects.
“No government has however survived on such situation and i was not elected to pay only salaries.
“Civil servants constitute only one to five per cent of the people God committed into my hands to look after and i advise them to concentrate on ventures to supplement their earnings.”
Umahi commended the new high court Judge, Gladson Ugbala, on his appointment, noting that it was purely on merit.
He said: “The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria personally wrote to me to swear you in after approving your recommendation, while the state Chief Judge also did the same.
“All these are testimonies of your good character and conduct as i also congratulate the new members of the SJC Messrs Una Nweze and Fidelis Iteshi.”
He also congratulated the successful permanent secretary candidates and directed that they should further be trained on discipline, physical fitness and Information Communication Technology, among others.
He said: “This will enable you be at your optimum and for us to select the best for the permanent secretary position in the state civil service.”
Ugbala, the new high court judge, thanked the Governor and all those who made his appointment possible, pledging to justify the confidence reposed in him.
Prof. Ogbonnaya Chukwu, Chairman of the minimum wage joint committee, also pledged that it would ensure that the new wage ok implementation was flawless in the state.