Chairman of ALGON, Delta State, Mr Itiako Ikpokpo.

By Ovedhe Hezekiah – Warri

The Chairman, Delta state chapter of ALGON, Mr Itiako Ikpokpo, has said that the delay in payment of new minimum wage to local government workers is caused by financial difficulties faced by local governments councils.

Ikpokpo gave the explanation following an ultimatum of strike issued by the leadership of the Delta state chapter of ALGON and other affiliate unions, over non-implementation of new national minimum wage in the state.

In a statement after an emergency meeting of ALGON in Asaba, Ikpokpo appealed to the workers to shelve the proposed strike action.

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“Payment of salaries of primary school teachers and council staff rests squarely with the local government councils and not the Delta State Government and it is on record that ALGON have held several consultative meetings and dialogues with the leadership of the workers on how to implement the minimum wage.”

“The last being two weeks ago at the unity Hall where we agreed to meet with His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, with representatives of NULGE, NUT, SUBEB, the Delta State Accountant General, State Directorate of Local Government and the Local Government Service Commission on how to find common ground on the issue.”


The ALGON chair said while the new minimum wage has been effected for workers on grade levels one to six, dwindling finances has hampered its implementation for workers above these levels.

“Local Governments in Delta State are not averse to full implementation of the new minimum wage. While it has been effected for workers at the lower rung of the service, ( Grade levels one to six), financial difficulties faced by the Local Governments has hindered its implementation for staff on Grade Levels seven and above.”

Ikpokpo said local government councils are currently facing acute financial challenges and will not be able to shoulder full implementation of the new minimum wage except they either borrow or retrench some staff.

“The presidents of NULGE and NUT attend the monthly Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting and understand perfectly the financial condition of the local government councils.”

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“While we appreciate the consideration and cooperation of the affected workers on the delay associated with the implementation of the minimum wage, we wish to earnestly appeal to them to show more understanding by shelving the proposed strike action as Government is working assiduously on how to find a way out of the pathetic situation.”

“We are committed in ensuring the implementation of the minimum wage across all grade levels in the local governments and local education authorities in no distant time when hopefully the finances of the Councils improves” , Ikpokpo added.