From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The National Vice President of Medical and Health Workers Union (MHWUN), who also is the Kogi State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Onuh Edoka has cried out that the state government is yet to fulfil all agreements reached with labour over the disbursement of N30.8billion bail out fund recently released for payment of the outstanding salaries and pensions for workers and pensioners in the state.
Edoka disclosed that labour is still standing aside from commenting on the usage of the N30.8 billion bailout released to the state government because, the state government is failing on its part to honour the arrangement of disbursement entered into with the labour before the fund was finally released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The NLC Chairman stated this at the weekend while speaking during the 14th Edition of North Central Zonal Conference of the Health Workers Union held in Lokoja, the state capital.
According to him, government was yet to release the 10% of the fund kept aside to offset arrears of state workers and pensioners salaries and pensions.
“We must appreciate the state government over the bailout. The bailout was effectively used by government. Any one who harbour contrary opinion should engage the government personally.
“However, we have declined to make a categorical statement on the usage of the fund as we should do because, government has not fulfilled all aspects of negotiations entered with labour before the release of the fund by CBN.
“Ten percent of the money was reserved to tackle arrears of months when percentage salary were paid to the state workers.
“The government promised to pay in instalment from the 10% reserved, but they have not commenced. When that is done, we shall come out to make a definite statement.
“We have computed those months when percentage were paid. What is needed now to offset all arrears of state workers who are on the clear list is N2.8 billion,” he said.
Edoka however, frowned at some aides of the governor who are sabotaging the complete payment of salary to council workers.
“Local government were paid 85% for three month which was contrary to the governors directive for complete payment.
“The percentage payment to council workers was carried out by some of his appointees who are working internally to bring down the government. They have turned LG to their handbag which they carried about, and picked what they want.”
He therefore urged government to look into offsetting the outstanding salaries at the council areas as well as the implementation of the “One roof” scheme for health workers, following the signing to law of the bill by the governor.