NLC urges Plateau Gov. to pay outstanding salaries before his exit

By Martha Agas

The Nigerian Labour Congress in Plateau, has urged Gov. Simon Lalong to pay outstanding workers salaries in the state before his exit from office.

The chairman of the union in the state, Mr Eugene Manji, made the call during the celebration of the workers day on Monday at Rwang Pam stadium, Jos.

He thanked the governor for being consistent in the prompt payment of salaries at the beginning of his administration and urged him to end his tenure well through clearing the backlog.

“We heard some workers are already receiving their February salaries and we urged you to ensure all workers are paid before you leave office.

“We want you to break the jinx of Plateau governors always leaving backlog of salaries before their exit to the incoming governors,” he said.

He also called for the payment of 50 months arrears for the staff of Hill station Hotel and the compensation of land owners in Zanwra, Miango in Bassa local government.

He said it became necessary as their land was being used to implement the construction of the 844 housing unit for Plateau workers.

He called for the release and payment of worker’s gratuity both at the state and Local Government Council and the expedient passing of the bill established to facilitate the payment of gratuity and pension of retired workers in the state.

He also urged the governor to implement the harmonized retirement age for teachers in the state from 60 to 65 years which was being implemented in other states.

Manji commended workers for their patience and resilience in discharging their duties in spite of the current economic hardship they are experiencing, urging them not to relent in their efforts.

In his remarks, Gov. Lalong said that his administration has been committed to the prompt payment of salaries in spite of the financial burden it confronted through the inheritance of eight months of workers salaries from his predecessor.

“We tried in paying outstanding salaries, am not perfect but there are somethings I will do before leaving office,” he said.

He said his administration was determined to improve workers’ welfare through its partnership with the Federal Housing Authority in accessing renovation loans for 2,500 civil servants in the state.

He said that some houses in the housing unit scheme for workers were almost being completed, saying that he would inaugurate them before he leaves office.

Lalong said in his efforts to sanitise the state civil service, he set up a committee to screen workers where some top ranking civil servants were fished out for falsifying their ages and many ghost workers expunged from the state payroll.

“My administration also extended maternity leave from four to six months and gave paternity leave to fathers of newborns,” he said.

He urged the workers to discharge their duties diligently for the progress of the state, saying that they were critical in the implementation of government policies and programmes in the state.

A paper on the theme of the day “Workers right to socio economic justice”, was presenter by Prof Dung Sha, the Director of Planning and Research of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru. (NAN)