In Nasarawa Groups appeal to striking workers to return to work

He noted that ``the different groups across the state are here to tell Gov. Tanko Al-Makura that we are solely behind the state government's decision on downward review of workers' salary.

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Different groups in Nasarawa State on Monday protested against the indefinite strike embarked upon by workers across the state and urged the civil servants to return to work in the interest of peace and socio- economic development of the state.

The leader of the groups, Mr. Abubakar Ubandoma while presenting their demands to the state's Deputy Governor, Mr Silas Agara in Lafia said ``there was no reason for the strike, considering the present economic challenges facing the nation.''

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the groups include members of the Marketers and Trader Association, Rice Millers Association, Loaders and Off Loaders Association, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

Ubandoma, who is also the leader of Concerned Citizens in the state, appealed to the striking workers to return to work, considering the nation's dwindling economy, adding that the state was among the first states to implement the N18,000 national minimum wage in 2011.

He noted that ``the different groups across the state are here to tell Gov. Tanko Al-Makura that we are solely behind the state government's decision on downward review of workers' salary.

``We believe that the downward review was due to the nation's dwindling economy.

``We are urging the striking workers to return to work because the state was among the first states to implement the N18,000 national minimum wage in 2011 and they should also understand the present state government financial position.

The leader of the groups commended Gov. Al-Makura for the developmental strides across the state and called for sustenance.

Responding, the deputy governor, who received the protesting groups on behalf of Gov. Al-Makura, said the state government was among the first states to pay the minimum wage.

He assured the groups that the state government would not relent in its efforts toward keying into positive policies and programmes that have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the state and Nigerians.

NAN reports that the groups carried different placards that read ``Nasarawa State workers please return to work'', ``labour strike is baseless and recklessness'', ``we say no to labour industrial strike, labour should call off the strike and return to work.''

Others carried placards which include ``we support salary downward review for better Nasarawa State'', ``Nasarawa State civil servants are only two per cent as against 2.5 million population of the state.''

It would be recalled that workers in the state embarked on indefinite strike on July 4 to protest against the decision of the state government for downward review of their salaries by 50 per cent. 

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