Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has described as worrisome the demand for wage increase by different professional bodies, warning that such increase will stifle state governments.
Dr. Uduaghan, who gave the warning when the Chairman and members of National Committee of Experts on Parameters for wage fixing in the public service paid him a courtesy call in Asaba, said wages should be fixed in such a way that states could carry the burden.
He charged the committee to streamline wage demand and set a platform on which wage increase for different professions could spring from.
Stressing that state Governments are not as financially strong as the Federal government, the governor advised the committee to involve states in the negotiation of any wage increase.
Dr. Uduaghan explained that state governments should not be bound to implement federal circulars conveying wage increase instructions as such circulars create more burden for states.
“Everybody should come under a regimented wage arrangement and wage negotiation should not neglect the strengths of states,” he said.
He said his administration was already operating under a heavy wage bill even as he explained that the heavy wage bill was encroaching seriously on capital development.
The governor, therefore, called on those threatening to go on strike to tread softly as the issue of wage increase is very sensitive.
On the payment of selective allowance to those in special areas, the governor frowned on the blanket cover in implementation, arguing that such allowances should only be paid to those who actually performed such duties.
He specifically directed the states Head of Service to lead the committee to DESOPADEC to critically examine the salary structure in the organization.
The Governor said the wage structure in DESOPADEC was alien to the civil service and urges the committee to bring it to realistic level.
The chairman of the committee, Prof. Vremudia Diejomoah explained that the committee was on tour of the country to gather information to develop a wage policy for the Federal Civil Service that would provide a mechanism for periodic adjustment of salaries and wages.
Prof. Diejomoah said the committee also have the mandate to determine the proportion of revenue that will be allocated for personal emoluments as well as identify and propose parameter for deterring pay relativities among various categories of personnel.
According to him, the committee will also critically examine the salaries and wages of certain political, judiciary and public office holders and advice on any matters related to the assignment.
The chairman disclosed that the committee has a time frame of six months to do its work.