BY CHAMBERLAIN ODEY, JOS – Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Plateau State chapter, Comrade Jibrin Bachir has tasked the Plateau state government to boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by exploring and expanding new income avenues.
Responding to Press inquiries on government’s claims of regular and timely salaries payment in the state, Bachir said organised labour is grateful to the Governor Simon Lalong’s administration for its commitment to prompt payment of salaries and pensions.
He said the government demonstrated utmost transparency and steadfastness with the bailout funds earlier given to various different states, saying the Plateau government ensured that the funds were used strictly to offset salaries arrears across the state.
Bachir said for the momentum to be sustained, government must not only rely on money coming from the federation accounts, noting that variables determining the monthly Federation accounts size are not constant, and remain unpredictable and vulnerable subject to dynamics that trend and influence global trade patterns and exchange regimes.
According to him, organised labour wants to see the state’s IGR rising to an appreciable level through verifiable and enduring policies and strategies adopted by the government, adding that it must be such that the IGR gets to a level where vagaries from the federation account will not leave the state panting and unable to pay salaries and execute its development projects and programmes
Bachir said it is important for Plateau state to be self-sustaining, with earnings from the federation pool being a mere boost to the state’s economic viability rather than the major determinant and driver of the local economy.
He said with the state earning up to 70% of its IGR from the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax, government should always pay staff salaries so that it can also take its due in terms of taxes.
The NLC chairman boss said continuous training and other on-the-job opportunities such as the in-service staff development programme, have not only helped to hone and sharpen the skills and competences of the civil servants, but made the civil service to remain the catalyst of government programmes and policies.
Bachir, who expressed happiness that the state civil service has performed creditably in terms of quality and discipline, said he would love to vacate the labour’s leadership leaving behind a robust work force and a system that guarantees optimal staff welfare, dignity of labour, and protection of the workers’ future.