From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The gentleman decision reached between the Kogi state government and the organized labour to pay four months salary arrears of the staff of the state owned tertiary institutions and pensioners as well as three months to workers in MDA’S out of the last tranche of the Paris Club funds has been betrayed by government.
The state government after the agreement came out with another resolution to pay only one month now while the remaining three and two months will be made through table payment.
The Organized Labour in a swift reaction frowned at the government refusal to honour the agreement.
Our Correspondent findings showed that workers and pensioners are currently getting only one month salary alerts with the hope that their arrears would be paid manually using table payment as demanded by government.
Our Correspondent findings also revealed that government is not comfortable with the N2.8billion monthly wage bill it is paying, hoping to use the table payment to ascertain the State actual wage bill.
The organized labour in the state has expressed its anger by the present action of government, saying that the planned table payment should be after it has successfully reached their earlier agreement.
The state chairman of NLC had during the protest by workers in the state over the approval of N30, 000 minimum, frowned at the figures brandished by the Kogi State Government that its wage bill is N2.8billion even when a substantial number of workers had been screened out or disengaged from the civil service.
According to Edoka, if the immediate past administration of Capt Idris Wada left a wage bill of N2.6billion which include salaries of all those sacked or relieved of their service by the present administration and monthly impress to offices, the new government brandished figure of N2.8b is questionable.
The labour Union is now at a loss why the state government now consider it apt to ascertain the amount it is paying as salary only when the state had received a tranche of Paris club refunds with workers waiting for payment.
All arguments by labour that Kogi workers have gone through untold hardship occasioned by non payment of salaries could not sway government thinking, with the governor insisting that he will only pay a month salary while the remaining earlier agreed upon would be paid through table payment.
For now Kogi State Workers would have to wait longer than expected to get their outstanding arrears paid with the new government plan, which is an upset, likely to add more health challenge to workers whose blood pressure have risen while awaiting alerts.
He said that there is however the fears in many quarters that as had been the case with past bailouts, the delay in the payment of the present amount released for workers may also develop wings at the expense of the real workers the money is meant for.