The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kogi State has reiterated that the Yahaya Bello government has not paid salaries to workers for 39 months.
However, the NLC Chairman in Kogi Onuh Edoka in a recent meeting with the leadership of the State Government noted that described the claims as unfair.
“When previously this type of statement was heard from political appointees of this administration, we paid no attention to them, as we felt they were just playing to the gallery,” he said.
“We believed His Excellency knows the truth. But now that we have heard it from the horse’s mouth, we cannot but reemphasise the truth of our situation, which His Excellency is trying to deny for reasons best known to him.
“For the avoidance of doubt and without fear of any prevarication, we wish to unequivocally state that His Excellency’s Administration owes Kogi workers and pensioners heavily in terms of salaries, pensions and other entitlements.
“We are even more bewildered because, at one time, the government acknowledged its heavy indebtedness to workers and at another time the denial card is played.
“We want to put it on record that at the inception of His Excellency’s administration on January 27, 2016, the state workers were down by three months salaries and pensions (October, November and December 2015).
“His Excellency’s administration received the December 2015 allocation shared in January 2016 and was thus responsible for the payment of December 2015 salary and pension.
“Equally, His Excellency accessed N20bn out of N50.8bn Bailout Fund meant to offset inherited salaries/pensions arrears.
“It should be stressed that while Government claimed to have used the Bailout Fund solely for salaries/pensions, it failed to utilise several monthly allocations for the current running months, thereby paving way for accumulation of backlog of salaries/pensions.
“Let me put the records straight. The former Governor, Captain Idris Wada, spent 48 months in office and he paid 45 months salaries, leaving December 2015 and January 2016 allocation for the Bello administration to access.
“This shows clearly that Wada owed only two months salary arrears at the point of his departure in January 2016. So, your administration is hugely indebted to Kogi workers and the Governor should find a means to defray it, rather than denying it publicly.”