While the Federal Government is still battling on a final decision to approve the new 30,000 Naira minimum wage, Akwa Ibom State is already prepared for the new pay.

However, workers in the state may have to wait for approval from the Federal Government to start receiving the new alerts. If the National Assembly does not approve it, then they wont get it.

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, said during consultation with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress, United Labour Congress and other affiliated unions in Uyo, that paying the 30,000 Naira new minimum wage in the state is not a problem and would not be an issue.

“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.

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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.

Earlier, Mr Etim Ukpong, State Chairman, the NLC said labour was 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 were appreciative of what the governor was doing and had done, and hope that he would fulfil 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.

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