Governor of Niger State, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello said yesterday it would be difficult for governments to increase allowances of National Youth Service Corps’ (NYSC’s) members and civil servants’ salaries because of the recession.
This statement was in espouse to protests by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), asking governments to increase workers’ salaries.
The governor said when the recession period is over, his administration will review corps members’ allowances and civil servants’ salaries.
Speaking at the closing of the 2016 Batch ‘B’ Stream 2 NYSC orientation in Paiko, Bello said it was a good idea to increase allowances and salaries, “but the government cannot give what it does not have. It will be meaningless to increase salaries and be unable to pay them.
“Because of inflation, prices of goods and services have increased. It will not be a bad idea to review the allowances of corps members. However, because we are experiencing recession, even if we want to increase allowances and salaries, it will be difficult to do so.
“On one hand, I will support increase because of inflation, but on the other, you cannot give what you do not have. This is our challenge. I hope we get out of this challenge soon so that we can review many things, not only NYSC’s allowances, but salaries. It is unfortunate that at this time, it will be difficult, but we will keep our fingers crossed and see what happens.”
He lamented that finances of most states had reduced by over 50 per cent, with some states and local governments finding it difficult to pay salaries.
The governor also encouraged employers to accept the corps members sent to them, warning that the government would not tolerate the rejection.
He urged corps members to actively contribute to the development of the communities they would be posted to, saying they should support the government to ensure increase in standard of living.
The NYSC State Coordinator Mrs. Theresa Ibukun Arokoyo warned corps members against travelling unnecessarily.
“You must realise the government and your families and relations need you, having invested much in your training and upbringing. You must, therefore, ensure you travel only when it is necessary and you are permitted.”
She also urged the government to complete the NYSC permanent orientation camp.