Bleak Sallah: Kogi workers battle Bello, reject gov’s half pay


The organised labour in Kogi State has unanimously rejected government’s offer of half salaries to workers in the state.

This development has led to a bleak sallah in the state.

The workers objected to the state government’s offer of fifty per cent of their salaries due to the paucity of funds in the state’s coffers.

The labour union said its rejection of half salaries proposed by the state followed a meeting by the union and the government, which was deadlocked.

In the bulletin issued at the end of the joint meeting of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, and the Public Sector Joint Negotiation Council, the union stated that it was surprised that after collection of bailout fund, first and second tranches, from the London Paris Club refund and the  monthly allocations, the government was still offering half salaries.

The bulletin among others stated that labour unanimously rejected the proposed 50 per cent payment of salaries for the month of July, 2017, adding that any payment short of 100 per cent shall be regarded as a sallah gift to workers.

The Unions therefore advised the state government to jealously guide the money at her disposal and keep it in safe custody.

The organised labour also demanded for an explanation on how government arrived at 3.1bn as wage bill, even when reasonable number of workers had not been paid.

Efforts to get the reaction of the governor’s spokesperson, Kingsley Fanwo, did not yield any result as he refused to speak on the development.

When contacted via Whatsapp, he said, “I am not happy with the way you reported Mr. Segun’s issue.

“You seem to be very interested in negative news about us; I feel somehow disappointed.”

Also, our correspondent tried to reach out to the state Commissioner for Finance, Idris Asiru, but he was said to be in a meeting.

He has yet to reply to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.

Also, the Kogi State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association has expressed displeasure with the payment of 50 per cent salary to its members and therefore rejected it.

NMA, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Dr Godwin Tijani, and made available to journalists on Thursday, hinted that the association was not invited to the meeting held between the state government and labour leaders where it was agreed that 50 per cent would be paid to workers.

He said “We only saw the news in the media this morning but we denied it as untrue, but now many of our members have gotten alert confirming the payment of 50 per cent of their salaries. Kogi doctors are not happy with that decision.

“As a noble and an understanding association, we expected the government to notify us of this shortfall and not be taken by surprise. I learnt those working in tertiary institutions are being paid full salary while those with Ministry and Hospital Management Board will get half salary. NMA expresses displeasure with that level of discrimination.”

Tijani however appealed to doctors in the state to remain calm and go about their normal activities as efforts were already in place to correct the defects noted in their salaries.Punch


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