From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Hard times await Kogi workers as the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) on Tuesday succumbed to pressure of government to pay 80% salaries to its staff with effect April, 2020.
The agreement was reached at a meeting between the Organised Labour and the Kogi State government which ended with parties arriving at 80% pay for the month of April.
It would be recalled that the organised labour had earlier insisted that nothing short of 100% salary for workers would be acceptable in several meetings that ended in a deadlock with the Government team before finally agreeing on 80% pay.
The meeting between labour and government was occasioned by the state government’s earlier plan to pay 50 percent salary to state workers, a condition the labour rejected which, however, prompted government to shift ground to 80%.
At the meeting held in government house, the organized labour led by Comr. Onu Edoka stuck to its guns, insisting that there was no justification for payment of percentage salaries to Kogi Workers.
The Government’s reasons for the slash in the salary of workers, according to sources was hinged on the state’s inability to draw overdraft to pay salary, a practice that has been on over a period.
The indebtedness over time according to Government sources runs to N4.8 billion a situation that led to the bank swallowing the March 2020 Statutory allocation paid in April two weeks ago.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government’s sources said the CBN new guidelines does not permit the granting of huge overdraft, reason why it is difficult for the Bank to give same gesture to the state government as enjoyed in the past.