Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom on Monday promised to pay N30,000 new minimum wage to workers in the state.
Emmanuel gave the assurance during consultation with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress, United Labour Congress and other affiliated unions in Uyo.
He said that paying the N30,000 new minimum wage in the state is not a problem and would not be an issue in the state.
“Minimum wage has never been an issue, it is just that it is a matter of legislation.
“We are waiting for directions from the Federal government, once the direction is given, we will pay in our state.
“In the face of circumstances and what we face in this country, I have done my best to make sure that workers do not suffer.
“I pay salaries in circumstances that I do not receive allocation. You did not elect me to make excuses but to find solution to problems,” Emmanuel said.
He said labour was the bedrock of development in any nation and commended the unions for their support so far, adding that he has fulfilled his promises to the unions.
The governor noted that even when allocations from the Federal government was still pending, he sourced for money to make sure salaries were paid.
According to him, Labour is the key to development. You cannot relegate labour to the background.
“I have demonstrated capacity yesterday and can look into the future. I am here today because you people have strengthened me to be here and made it possible for me to be here, and we can talk and negotiate.
“I thank labour for the fantastic relationship between the labour and the state government. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the best blueprint for workers in the country.
“We need your support in the usual manner for us to win the forthcoming election. Today is the day for consultation. I want to thank God for the leadership of the labour and for this state. It is not in every state that labour leaders sit like this with the governor,” Emmanuel said.
Earlier, Mr Etim Ukpong, State Chairman, the NLC said labour is a very economically and socially variable group, adding that he was happy the governor knows the labour has given him support.
He said the workers are appreciative of what the governor is doing and has done, and hope that he would fulfill all outstanding promises to them.
According to him, Over three and a half years, there have been no labour restiveness in Akwa Ibom because you are working with people who can manage the situation.
“Your coming gives us the satisfaction that we are working with somebody who understand the meaning of labour union.
“We welcome you here; you saw how the labour leaders welcomed you. They appreciate you and what your government has spent during the period as governor, and as you are leaving this place, you will address what the people want to hear. Our workers want to see the consultation in action,” Ukpong said.