Kogi State workers have expressed their disappointment in the state government as the organised labour accused the government of lying against it about having agreements with it on payment of percentage salaries.
The labour union also accused the government of reneging on all the agreements entered into with it before the suspension of the industrial action in November 2017.
Chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Onuh Edoka and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) Comrade Ranti Ojo stated in a joint statement in Lokoja, that the state government was economical with the truth that it has cleared salary arrears owed to civil servants up to December, 2017.
They said that government unilaterally paid 60% and 40% salaries to the state and local government workers from August to December, 2017.
The labour leaders lamented that the arrears due to some staff owed between 6 to 22 months before August 2017 are still hanging and wondered why the state government would engage in such a misleading statement that all workers have been paid up to date.
The organised labour also disagreed with the pronouncement of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello that the government borrowed a whooping sum of N10bn to pay salary arrears when it is evident that the state government collected over N6bn Paris Club refund in addition to the monthly allocations of October and November 2017.
They contended that the three sums, ordinarily could have been enough to pay full salary to all categories of staff going by the wage bill of N2.6bn announced by the state government
. The union, therefore, described the governor’s pronouncement that workers have been paid up to December 2017 as fabricated lies and mere political statement that cannot be justified.
They further alleged that the state has been taking workers and their views for granted when it comes to consulting the leadership of the unions on matters that affect the welfare of its members.
The organised labour said that the pronouncement by the governor in his New Year broadcast that the clock-in-clock-out device would be used as a means of computing January salary is another affront to the patience of Kogi workers since the issue of the device was part of the November 2017 agreement reached with it.
According to them, the unions agreed with the government that a committee be set up to monitor the effectiveness of the device in the first three months.
Idris Ahmed, Lokoja
Source: Daily Times