By G9ija

Employees of local government areas and primary school teachers in Delta State have issued a 14 -day ultimatum, effective Tuesday, December 1, 2020, to the state government to pay the N30, 000 minimum wage to avoid an indefinite strike.

They alleged that the state government had failed to implement the new minimum wage since April 18, 2019, when it was signed into Law, but implemented it for other sectors.

Following the trend, the Delta State Chapter of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, (NULGE), Nigeria of Union of Teachers (NUT), and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) in the primary school system met in Asaba and resolved to begin a showdown with the state government.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the unions declared that their members were deliberately denied the new minimum wage in the state, insisting that they could no longer bear the situation.

The communiqué was signed by the President and Secretary of NULGE, Zico Okwudi and Comrade Peter, State Chairman and Secretary of NUT, Titus Okotie, and Dan Basime, as well as the State Chairman and Secretary of NASU, Akpede C. P., and Amobi Oluchi C. G.

But in a swift reaction, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Delta State chapter explained why the new minimum wage for council workers and primary school teachers had not been implemented.

ALGON Chairman, Itiako Ikpokpo, said the councils have not been able to meet their obligations in terms of increasing salaries of the workers as a result of financial crunch at the grassroots level but acknowledged that payment of salaries of council workers and primary school teachers was the responsibility of the councils, not the state government.

He appealed to the workers to shelve the planned strike as ALGON was working on how to implement the new minimum wage.

BESIDES, the Civil Rights Council (CRC) has accused the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) of conniving with the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to ‘rob’ Nigerians of millions of naira through the estimated billing system.x

Delta State Chairman of CRC, Comrade Agbubi Ejovwoke Emmanuel lamented that in spite of the costly monthly billing, the NERC and DisCos had failed to provide reliable power to consumers, as part of their core mandate.

He maintained that NERC had failed in its mandate by allowing DisCos to give high and unregulated estimated bills to Nigerians, instead of providing prepaid meters to consumers, just as it had failed to resolve complaints of electricity consumers.

MEANWHILE, the Delta State Government has pledged to rebuild the State High Court that was burnt during the #Endsars protests on Ibusa Road, Asaba with N100m.

Commissioner for Housing, Chief Festus Ochonogor made the disclosure while answering questions from journalists shortly after the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Marshall Umukoro, Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor (SAN) were conducted round the High Court premises.