Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has again stated that he is not withholding the salaries of Local Government workers as such they have no right to call him names, Lalong stated this at an engagement with plateau stakeholders on the second wave of covid-19 and security issues held at the victoria Gowon hall, new government house, little Rayfield Jos, Today 13th January
Lalong while speaking touched on the issue of the implementation of the new minimum wage for Local Government Employees.
Although I understand that they have concluded negotiations on modalities for implementation, I still need to make a few clarifications because of the misinterpretation and misinformation out there.
Those who want to be objective and say the truth know that I will be the last person to frustrate the implementation of the new minimum wage to Local Government employees having been one of the first and few Governors to agree on its implementation. Besides, I was part of the negotiation at the Federal level after which other tiers of Government were advised to go and negotiate with their employees.
Following the prolonged clamor for financial autonomy of the Local Government system nationwide, the matter was finally resolved. As a result, I approved that Local Government autonomy in Plateau State should be implemented immediately.
Therefore, all funds belonging to that tier of Government go straight to them. It is therefore the duty of the Local Governments to negotiate the new minimum wage with their employees based on their capacity to pay. This is the same thing that happened at the Federal and State levels.
I was therefore shocked that despite my intervention to ensure that the matter was quickly resolved through a Technical Committee, the workers embarked on protests which caused hardship to other citizens. They have also called me unprintable names forgetting that I have a soft spot for workers.
I do not need to repeat what I inherited as their salary arrears for 8 months, unpaid “no-work-no pay”, promotions of over 20 years, among others when I took over. All these they seem to have forgotten because of politics. Let me again put it on record that I am not holding local government salaries and no one should therefore call me names.
As this engagement unfolds, I expect to get feedback from you and have some of my Commissioners and relevant officers intervene where necessary.