The Nigeria Labour Congress, Kogi State council on Thursday, lamented a situation where workers in Kogi State Civil service are now begging to feed their families, due to 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 workers owned between 7 to 30 months salary arrears by the state government.
He appealed to the state government to do something urgent to reverse this negative trend, maintained that workers in the state civil service are being owed between seven to thirty months Salaries, a situation 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 are not being cash backed, saying that such promotions only existed on papers.
He said worse still are the local government workers who are being paid ridiculous percentage salaries spanning several years, even as he said that the Ministry of Local Government has become a Government of its own.
While painting a pathetic story of Pensioners in the state, Edoka noted that despite the fact that these retirees do not collect their Pensions regularly, some of them are not even placed on Pension months and in some cases over one year after retirement.
While appealing to the state government to pay more attention to the welfare of workers in the state, Edoka said that the screening exercise though, desirable, was responsible for the accumulation of backlogs of salary.
Edoka therefore called on the Federal Government to release the balance of 30.8 billion bailout fund to enable the government to defray the salary arrears owed to workers in the state.
In his response, the Governor promised to continue to prioritize the welfare of workers in the state, even as he said that the balance of the bailout fund would be used for payment of salaries only, when released by the federal government.
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 the Governor, the screening exercise, though painful, has recorded positive results as unintended beneficiaries have been eliminated from pay rolls of the state, saying that as painful as surgical operations are, they have to be carried out in order to save the life of patients.
He 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.
Other achievements according to the Governor includes, robust healthcare delivery, qualitative education, huge investments in critical infrastructural development across the three senatorial districts of Kogi state.
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.