Kogi Workers protests unpaid salaries, Appeals to Buhari

Workers in Kogi have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue them from their current hardship resulting from non-payment of their salaries, by sending them food, drugs, and other materials. The workers made the appeal on Wednesday in Lokoja in a statement jointly issued by the state chapters of the NLC, TUC and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC).

The Secretaries of NLC, TUC, and JPSNC respectively, signed the statement which was circulated to media houses. According to them, Buhari should direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other humanitarian agencies to supply them food and the relief materials. The civil servants said they were being owed between 11 and 21 months salaries and that the situation had adversely affected them and their families. Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello They urged the president to consider the condition of their children who had been sent out of schools because they could no longer pay their school fees.

“The situation of workers in the state is worse than the condition of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various camps. The agony of the workers is not in any way less than the experiences of victims of natural disasters. ”A situation where workers cannot afford even one meal a day and pay the school fees of their children is already a humanitarian issue. “As it stands today, over 30 per cent of the workforce is owed 21 months salaries. ”Twenty (20) per cent have unpaid salaries of between 11 and 18 months while about 45 per cent took their salaries up till June this year. ”These are the category of workers the Kogi State Government is forcing to embrace the ‘clock-in, clock-out’ work policy.”

Erects New Mansion Despite Owning Them Salary Arrears The civil servants also implored the indigenes of the state at home and abroad to show concern and assist in whatever form they could. Workers in the state had on September 22 embarked on an indefinite strike to press home their demand for payment of their salary arrears. The media aide to Kogi state governor, Kingsley Fanwo, when contacted said that government had yet to enter into negotiation with labour over the demand. The Director General, Media, and Publicity said this was because the signatories to the strike notice were unknown to the government. Fanwo faulted labour’s claim on salary arrears, saying that they were out to misinform the public for selfish reasons. He urged workers to disregard the labour’s directive to go on strike but continue to go to work. President Muhammadu Buhari had recently appealed to state governors to address the plight of workers in their state by paying salaries.

Mr. President had expressed worry that workers and pensioners in many states in the country were still being owed months of salaries even when it is expected that the release the Paris Club refunds to states would have eased the situation. Also See: APC Set To Resolve Crisis Between Gov. Bello And Sen. Dino Melaye “There are Nigerians that haven’t be paid for six months. There are Nigerians that haven’t been paid their retirement benefits for years. I appeal to the governors; that is why we voted money, we borrowed money. “Please, make sure (you pay) anybody under you. If he is working, he depends on the salary to pay rent, to hold his family, for education, healthcare.”

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