12 February 2013

Nigeria: 'Why Benue Can't Pay Teachers' Minimum Wage'

Makurdi — The Benue State government yesterday said the monthly revenue accruing to the state is not sufficient to implement the new minimum wage for its primary school teachers, who are about 25,000.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Solomon Wombo, while speaking with newsmen said the revenue accrued to the state cannot at the moment cater for the teachers, who are now planning to stage a protest.

"Report of the verification exercise we conducted has shown that the number of primary school teachers in the state is about 25,000, while the wage bill if we are to implement the new minimum wage is N1.8billion. Local government staff in the state are 28,000, with N1.7billion as wage bill", he said.

He said the situation is worrisome to government considering that there are other statutory deductions to be made monthly.

"It is difficult to implement the minimum wage now, but the state governor is worried about this development and we are trying to see how we can get out of the problem. As you know, the governor is very sensitive to the plight of the workers, and he has been trying his best to put smiles on their faces. That is why the state was the first in the northern part of the country to implement the 27.5 per cent Teachers Salary Structure (TSS)", he added.

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