Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle on Friday urged workers to look inwards, diversify and start businesses that will form a fall back source for their lives in retirement.
The Governor’s charge was contained in a statement signed by spokesman Yusuf Idris Gusau and comes as the world celebrates International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day.
According to the statement, Matawalle made the call when he hosted the leadership of all 36 trade unions in the state under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to the breaking of the Ramadan fast at his Gusau residence.
Matawalle, himself a businessman cum politician said his administration is working on a programme to register and issue certificates on all public and private properties in the state which can be used in securing bank loans by interested workers to establish their own businesses which they can use in sustaining their lives after retirement.
He drew the attention of the civil servants in the state to be careful and realistic in the agitation for the implementation of the minimum wage saying once the resources are available, he will implement without delay but that at the moment, Zamfara which is one of the least collectors of monthly federal allocation has over N1.6 billion deducted from source to service the debts it inherited from the past administration.
The Governor said every month, the state is left with between N1.8 billion and 1.3 billion to pay salaries to its over 28,000 workers as well as service governance but assured that he will not sack or rationalize the workforce in order not to jeopardize homes and dependants.
On security, governor Matawalle charged the workers to be more vigilant in both their neighborhood and over their co-workers following the recent arrest of some civil servants having hand in criminality.
While commending the workers for their understanding and commitment to duty, the governor assured that he will continue to meet their demands as well as pay full monthly salary every month without delay.
Earlier, the State Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Sani Halliru thanked the governor for hosting the workers to break the Ramadan fast with him, praying Allah to reward the governor abundantly.
Comrade Halliru who commended the governor over his peace and dialogue initiative with bandits, informed his host that some union members from other states facing security challenges are now calling on their governors to copy the Zamfara initiative so that they can enjoy peace.
The chairman appealed to the governor to help the union with a bus to ease part of its transportation needs.
The breakfast was graced by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Bala Bello Maru, Head of Service, Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe, Chief of Staff Government House, Col Bala Mande rtd, PDP State Chairman, Alhaji Tukur Umar Danfulani, Commissioners, Special Advisers and many senior government officials among others.