.Decries N88bn budget deficit.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has threatened to reduce the salaries of workers who henceforth stay away from work on Monday sit-at-home days.
Prof. Soludo, who noted that the sit-at-home order of the Indigeneous People of Biafra, IPOB, has become an excuse for workers to stop coming to work on Mondays, should no longer continue.
He spoke Monday while addressing the state workers during the 2023 May Day celebration held at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka on Monday.
Recall that Soludo had in December increased the workers’ salaries by 10 per cent while pleading with them to start resuming work on Mondays.
Notwithstanding that IPOB, which introduced the Monday sit-at-home in the South-East in 2021, to protest the arrest of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, had said it suspended the order long ago, the people have continued to observe it for fear of attack.
The governor also, shortly after assuming office in 2021, had also convened a meeting of various stakeholders in the state, where he urged them to ignore the Monday sit-at-home and resumed normal activities, but the situation has not changed.
According to him, “Monday sit-at-home has become an excuse for workers to stop coming to work on Mondays. This cannot continue. You cannot be working for just four days a week and earn full salary.
“We must get back to work on Mondays. If we do not go to work, we must not get our full salary. We must be paid proportionally to the number of days we work. If we must continue staying away from work on Mondays, then we will start coming to work on Saturdays.
“You must do your work and we cannot be working for 70 per cent and earn 110 per cent. We will cut your salaries when you fail to come to work on Monday.”
Soludo added that the state government has been running on N88bn budget deficit in the last year.
According to him, the 2023 budget was predicted on N4bn internally generated revenue every month, but the state has been generating only N2bn.
He noted that the state was supposed to be getting N5bn from the Federal Government, but it is getting less, calling on the workers to buckle up and work towards generating revenue for the state government in order to take care of the workers’ welfare and other state pressing issues.
He said that there are pressures on him to increase salaries, but according to him, the increment will come with downsizing the workforce.
He, therefore, urged the labour leaders to study the proposal.