Ebonyi Gov Agrees To Pay Minimum Wage, To Increase Taxes, Tuition Fees

David Umahi, Governor, Ebonyi State

By Oginyi Ruth

Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi has agreed to pay the N30,000 recently approved Minimum Wage by President Muhammadu Buhari to civil servants in the state.

He, however, said its implementation would subject to an upward review of taxes and tuition fees of tertiary institutions in the state.

Umahi disclosed this at Abakaliki Township stadium while addressing the state workers during 2019 workers day celebration.

He said the state would review the school fees of the state university and college of Education, taxes and increased its Internally Generated Revenue.

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He directed the NLC and TUC to send their representatives for a negotiation before the implementation of the new minimum wage after its approval by the state House of Assembly.

Umahi said “there is no going back on the new Minimum wage but let me disappoint labour leaders, Ayuba and Chukwuma. I will not be the first to pay; I will not be the last to pay. But to pay, we will definitely pay.

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“We are going to set up a joint negotiation committee. So, I want the leadership of NLC, TUC to send their representatives so that we can set a joint negotiation committee.

“When we have agreed, this will go to the state House of Assembly for approval. If you look at what the National Assembly did, they appropriated N160bn for payment of minimum wage. So, there must be appropriation by the House of Assembly, it is not do a new law but to say this is an increment in salary payment.

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“After that, there will be stakeholders meeting. There will definitely be review of school fess in EBSU and college of Education. There will definitely be review of taxes in Ebonyi state. 

Our people must be prepared and ready to pay tax, it is irrevocable.  So, minimum wage is hereby approved but we must show what we do to make sure that we pay this minimum wage.

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“There is no way we will only pay salaries, we pay salaries and develop Ebonyi state and secure lives and properties of Ebonyi people, we pay salaries and provide healthcare of Ebonyi people.

“Without boring you with the obvious, it has been my opinion that workers in this country are not yet at their best in terms of being taken care of, but with various programmes I initiated in my administration, I can beat my chest to say that we were not oblivious of these challenges staring you in the face but we have initiated measures to ameliorate your sufferings”.

“My administration has increased workers’ salaries by 5 percent in the face of the dwindling federal allocation accruable to states with Ebonyi at the lowest ebb. Beyond the increment in workers’ salaries, we have given workers over N4b loan to access to go into agriculture to help them as no amount of wage increase can address the conflicting priorities of workers in this country”, he stated.

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