The Jigawa governor, Muhammad Badaru, has said his state is not one of those owing workers or pensioners and has pledged to sustain the trend.
The governor stated this on Saturday at the Ahmadu Bello Hall in Dutse, the state’s capital, while addressing workers to mark the international Workers’ Day.
In many states, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) used the occasion of Workers’ Day to appeal to governors to clear arrears of salaries, pensions, gratuities and death benefits to workers, retirees and their heirs.
But Mr Badaru said: “Jigawa is not owing salaries, pensions and gratuities or death benefits to any of its worker (s) retirees because we planned ahead by reducing the cost of governance and save money for the future.”
The governor also pledged to continue payment of the new minimum wage despite dwindling monthly federal allocations to states and local governments.
He said the state will pay salaries and pensions next months despite warning that there may be zero federal allocation due to federal government expenditure on fuel subsidy.
The governor said his administration had planned ahead against the economic situation and refrained from unnecessary spending.
“When we came in, we knew this day would come when we might not get anything from the federal government because of dwindling oil prices. And couple with the global pandemic, the economy has suffered more,” the governor said.
“We cut government spending and have saved right from then. Government House expenditure and that of the Deputy Governor’s office were first to be affected. This is because of times like this.
“Workers and pensioners in Jigawa should remain calm as their salaries, pensions would be paid as and when due. Also, for those who are retiring, all their benefits will be paid on time,” the governor said.
In his remarked, the chairman of the NLC in Jigawa, Sunusi Alhassan, commended the governor for ensuring that payment of the workers’ salaries and pension is done as and when due.
“Workers in Jigawa are the greatest beneficiaries of government policy of cutting cost. Without that, Jigawa would have been in the league of states with mighty spending on governance to the detriment of workers, retirees and innocent heirs.
“We received our salaries on or before the 25th of every month. We can’t thank you enough, Your Excellency,” the NLC chairman said.