Workers in Cross River have protested the payment of May salary on the first day of the month by Gov. Ben Ayade.
Ayade has consistently paid the May salary on the first day of the month in the last three years of his tenure.
But speaking to journalists, the state chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Clarkson Otu, said workers and the leadership of labour were unhappy over the early payment of salary.
According to the labour leader, even though the government means well, labour was nonetheless not happy with the situation.
“As labour leaders we do not support early salaries payment. We have told the governor that it is not proper. April salary was paid only last week and on May 1st he pays May salary.
“We are surprised he still paid early this month in spite of our protest. We will continue to engage him on that,” he said.
Speaking in a similar vein, the state Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ben Ukpepi, decried the early payment of salaries by the state government.
Ukpepi said labour would engage with the governor with a view to putting an end to early payments of salaries in the state.
Meanwhile, Ayade has expressed his administration’s readiness to implement the new minimum wage recently passed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking through the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Tina Agbor at the May Day rally in Calabar, Ayade pledged to pay the new wage once the modalities was worked out.
In spite of the state receiving one of the least revenue allocation from the federation account and being the third most indebted state, Ayade always pay civil servant early.
Meanwhile, Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Wednesday, assured workers in the state that his administration would pay the new minimum wage as approved by law.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the New Minimum Wage Bill on April 18 and directed that the implementation was effective from the date.
Akeredolu gave the assurance during the 2019 Workers’ Day celebration held at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Arcade, Akure.
He also promised that outstanding leave bonuses would be paid soon, saying that welfare of workers was paramount to his administration.
The governor said that the most effective way to ameliorate poor living conditions was the bridging of infrastructural deficit in the state.
According to him, poverty will only be tackled effectively when the hinterlands are linked to urban centres, in a design which will promote cooperation on socio-economic fronts.
“Real prosperity lies in the production of goods and services by any society.
“Our state has started the revitalization of the moribund production sector through the promising project of Ore Industrial Hub.
“Creating an atmosphere which promotes economic activities is a priority of this government. The Deep Sea Port project at Araromi will become a reality soon.
“Our state will be the desired destination for serious investors and tourists,” he said.
The governor also said that his administration would continue to treat the welfare of civil servants as a priority, and pay the new minimum wage.
“We, however, admonish our colleagues in service to reciprocate the good gestures of government, and sacrifices by those not employed by the state, to rededicate themselves and embrace best practices for progress,” he said.
Earlier, Mrs Helen Odofin, Chairperson, Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, urged workers to reciprocate the good gestures of employers through loyalty and commitment to quality service delivery.
She lauded the governor for promising to implement the new minimum wage.
Also, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Mr Sunday Adeleye, commended the state government for commitment to regular payment of salaries and promotion workers as and when due.
He, however, said that organised labour would constructively criticize the state government at any time, if needed.
Adeleye also urged the governor to put in place necessary machinery for the immediate implementation of the new minimum wage.