Fashola urges Lagosians to ignore PDP’s claim on minimum wage

■ Says APC will attract FG’s presence to Lagos

The Lagos State Government at the weekend de­bunked the claim of the Peoples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) on minimum wage in the state’s civil service say­ing Lagos State remains the first state in the country to implement the federal government approved minimum wage.

The state government made this known while re­acting to campaign post­ers by PDP governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, promising to implement the national minimum wage and pay leave allowances to the public servants if voted in as governor of the state.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Mr. Hakeem Bello explained that the Fashola administration was not only the first to imple­ment the minimum wage structure but also added mon­ey to the N18,000 minimum wage across board. This, the governor said, was one of the gestures for which the public servants commended his ad­ministration.

The statement recalled that the issue of minimum wage was settled on Tues­day, February 7, 2011, when the state government signed an agreement with the 14 approved labour unions in the state civil service to pay N18,780 to the lowest paid of its workers. The agree­ment, brokered by the then Commissioner for Estab­lishment and Training, Mr. Jide Sanwoolu, according to the statement, increased the minimum wage of the low­est paid worker in the em­ployment of the government by 69.6 percent which is a 7.6 percent increase over the federal government approved national minimum wage.

On the issue of leave al­lowance, the statement said the governor recently met with the public servants dur­ing which he explained that his administration did not stop paying leave allowances but that the system of annual payment of the allowance changed when the public ser­vants themselves requested that they be moved from har­monized salary structure to consolidated salary structure as obtains in the federal civil service.

According to the governor, during the meeting, when the harmonized salary structure was operational, government was saving a percentage of the salaries of the workers and given to them in bulk later in the year when they wanted to proceed on leave.

He explained that the leaders of the workers’ asso­ciations came to him and said the workers wanted the har­monized salary structure to be converted to consolidated structure adding that in the new structure, all benefits of the workers were consolidat­ed into their monthly salaries

The governor explained further, “Now, once you move from harmonized to consolidated salary system, all your entitlements are consolidated as well. In con­solidating the salaries, we did not take out their leave bonus because it is a matter of logic and common sense.”

Governor Fashola, who confirmed that the workers have come back to request a return to the old system, said he asked them to do a letter to him bearing such a request in order to ensure that it was a collective decision adding that he also suggested to the union members to subject such sensitive issues to ex­tensive debate by members after which a decision could be taken that binds everyone.

Fashola also repudiated the insinuation that the APC governorship candidate was dismissed from the state’s civil service, describing it as one of the many lies of the ruling party aimed at deceiv­ing voters into voting for them. He explained that Mr. Akin Ambode retired volun­tarily from the public service after 27 years of meritorious service to the state adding that he (Governor) wrote him a letter of commendation.

The governor, who called on Lagosians to ignore such lies and others that would likely come from the party in the run up to Saturday’s governorship election, noted that the PDP had done noth­ing in the last 16 years but lie to Nigerians about practically everything including the state of the economy and the secu­rity situation as well as other sensitive issues that affect the lives of the people.

Speaking further, Gover­nor Fashola pointed out that in the last 16 years, the PDP-controlled federal govern­ment had ignored the state in federal appointments and had not only failed to maintain its numerous infrastructure in the state but refused to pay back to the state the money it has spent, amounting to N51 billion, in maintaining federal assets in the state including roads and bridges.

Meanwhile Governor Babatunde Fashola has said that only the All Progressives Congress (APC) has what it takes to attract the presence of the federal government to Lagos.

He said this yesterday dur­ing the governorship rally of the APC in Agege, Lagos State. According to him, there would be synergy be­tween the incoming ruling party and a Lagos State APC led administration.

“When Lagos was the country’s capital, it used to get support for bridges, roads, security, ecology, among oth­ers.

“In the last 16 years, all federal government roads were maintained by the state government.

“We have spent N51 bil­lion to maintain federal assets in the state,” he said.

He appealed to the people to support and vote massively for the APC in the governor­ship elections.

“The people of Lagos must continue on the path of excellence, which the APC represents. To enjoy Federal Government’s benefits, vote Ambode,” Fashola said.

He also urged voters to en­sure they thumb print proper­ly on the ballot papers so that their votes would count.

He recounted that 52,000 votes were cancelled in the March 28 presidential elec­tions in the state. “I want all that 52,000 votes to be counted for APC in the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections.

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