The organised labour in Kogi State has called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, release the sum of N30.8 billion being the balance of the N50.8 billion bailout it approved in 2015 to offset salaries of workers in the state public service.
Daily Trust recalls that, at the twilight of the administration of immediate past Governor Idris Wada, the state government applied and got approval of N50.8 billion bailout to settle arrears of salaries owed to workers and pensioners at the state and local government levels.
Although, the government of Wada was unable to access any of the fund before the end of that regime, the present government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello was only able to access N20 billion of the fund, leaving the balance of N30.8 billion.
Speaking at a press conference in Lokoja on Wednesday, Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka, lamented that the non-release of the fund had put the workers of Kogi State, especially local government workers and primary school teachers, “at a very perilous state” where they cannot meet their basic needs as human beings.
“As at today, majority of state workers are owed five months’ salary arrears while those who got late clearance from the screening exercise have various months of backlog of arrears.
“The worst case scenario is that of primary school teachers and local government workers who have continued to recieve ridiculous percentages of their salaries.
“As it stands today, primary school teachers and local government workers are being owed salary arrears of well over 30 months by the time you calculate the percentages of their salaries not paid over the years”, Edoka said.