The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Kogi State council on Thursday, lamented a situation where workers in Kogi State Civil service are now begging to feed their families as a result of the non payment of their monthly emoluments.
The Kogi State chairman of the Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka, who stated this during the 7th quadrennial delegates’ conference in Lokoja, said that workers are owed between seven to 30 months salary arrears by the state government.
He appealed to the state government to do something urgent to reverse the negative trend, which he said has made it impossible for them to meet their obligations to their dependants.
In addition, the chairman regretted that workers are being owed their leave bonuses, while promotion carried out by the government were not being cash backed as such promotions only existed on papers.
“Worse still are the local government workers who are being paid ridiculous percentage salaries spanning several years. The Ministry of Local Government has become a Government of its own.
“Despite the fact that our retirees do not collect their pensions regularly, some of them are not even placed on pension in months and in some cases over one year after retirement.
“We are also using this medium to appeal to the state government to pay more attention to the welfare of workers in the state. The screening exercise though desirable, was responsible for the accumulation of backlogs of salary,” he said.
Edoka therefore called on the Federal Government to release the balance of N30.8 billion bailout fund to enable the government to defray the salary arrears owed workers in the state.
In his response, the state governor, Yahaya Bello promised to continue to prioritize the welfare of workers in the state, even as he said that the balance of the bailout fund, when released by the federal government, would be used solely for the payment of salaries.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Edward Onoja, commended the workers for their support to his administration in the trying period.
According to him, “the screening exercise, though painful, has recorded positive results as unintended beneficiaries have been eliminated from the payrolls of the state”.
The Governor listed other achievements of his administration to include: improved security of lives and property, saying that kidnapping and other violent crimes have been reduced to the barest minimum.
Highlights of the occasion was the election of officials to run the affairs of the union for the next four years.
Comrade Onuh Edoka and his team were returned unopposed for another four year term of office, even as the workers passed a vote of confidence on them for purposeful leadership.