….Lulu vows to Restore Worker’s Dignity With Genuine Reforms
From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Civil Servants in Kogi state may be forced to adopt the option of taking to the streets very soon over the refusal of government to pay their salary arrears ranging between seven to thirty months.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Kogi state Chapter, Comrade Onu Edoka gave the hint in an address he presented to mark this year’s May Day Celebration held in Lokoja, the state capital on Wednesday.
Edoka challenged the denial of the state government that workers are not being owed up to thirty months salaries and urged the state Accountant General to publish workers indebtedness with immediate effect for early settlement of their entitlements to ameliorate their sufferings that had resulted to untimely deaths.
The Labour Leader also decried the acute shortage of staff in the state civil service as a result of retirement of old ones, urging that government should embark on massive recruitment of new staff to curtail the current unemployment situation in the state.
Edoka further appealed to the state government to assist Kogi NLC in building a befitting Labour House that would facilitate its smooth operations in the state.
Governor Yahaya Bello in his speech at the event gave an assurance that the state will Key into the implementation of the New Minimum Wage
The governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Mrs Folashade Ayoade praised the organized labour in the state for its understanding, maturity and cordiality with government on labour related issues.
“While it will be utterly impossible for me to fully appreciate the contributions of Organized Labour in Kogi State to where we are today as a State, let me thank you for your services through good times and bad, through thick and thin”
“We cannot pretend today that there are no issues which remain unresolved around the welfare of our Labour Force. There are indeed several of such issues, but the most pressing of them all, at least to my Administration, is how to finally settle the remaining unpaid salaries due to our genuine workers.
For the bulk of our workers who were cleared without any delays during the screening exercise which ended in 2017, we owe 4 to 5 months.
The relative fewer numbers who were later re-added to the workforce after they failed screening may be owed more depending on when they were returned to the payroll. This category include those whose credentials were denied as fake by their schools but who later managed to resolve their differences with such institutions to the satisfaction of government.
It will also be recalled that we inherited substantial liabilities in the form of unpaid workers’ remuneration from previous administrations, however, since government is a continuum, we have continued to treat those liabilities as ours and to tackle them as much as we can from our own meagre income.
Meanwhile a governorship aspirant in Kogi state on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alh Sani Lulu Abdullahi has assured workers of his total commitment to reshaping and repositioning the civil service in the state with genuine reforms.
This was contained in a statement that was signed by Mr Sylvester Ojogbane his media committee chairman and made availlable to journalists in Lokoja on Wednesday.
He stated that with the introduction of genuine reforms that include training and retraining of staff and non -interference of local government council funds the workers would regain their pride of place.
Lulu said he will also ensure monthly salaries are promptly paid.
“Pensioners shall get their pensions and gratuities in full as at when due in addition to building recreation centre for relaxation, exercises and hosting of seminars/ workshops on how to live as a pensioner.
“This is important as your services as senior citizen is key to the further development of the state.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the minimum wage bill into law on the 18th April, 2019 which was passed by the National Assembly on the 19th March, 2019.
“I am irrevocably committed to the payment of #30,000.00 minimum wage, establishment of staff club with a view to complementing the workers effort.”