Salary arrears: Kogi workers appeal to Buhari to approve N30.8 bn bailout

Kogi workers have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the release of the balance of N30.8 billion of the state share of the bailout fund for the payment of their salary arrears.

The state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Onuh Edoka, made the appeal on Thursday in Lokoja at the delegate conference of the state chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN).

He noted that that the state government had embarked on “endless screening“ of state workers, adding that the exercise had become strenuous, telling on the health of the workers who traveled from many parts of the state to Lokoja for the screening.

Edoka suggested to the Federal Government set up a committee that would comprise representatives of the state government and the labour to oversee the disbursement of the money, when released.

The State Head of Service, Mrs Deborah Ogunmola, disclosed that the state government had reabsorbed 870 out of the workers sacked in the wake of the screening in 2017.

Ogunmola, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in her office, Alhaji Okeme Abdulahi, did not disclose the number of the staff retrenched in the exercise.

She, however, said the staff affected were those who the screening committee questioned their educational qualifications during the exercise.

The head of service said the workers concerned were reabsorbed after their various institutions affirmed that their certificates were not forged.

She promised that more workers would be reabsorbed as soon as they put their records straight, saying that the reabsorption would be a continue exercise.

Ogunmola also said that the various institutions contacted by the government had been responding, adding that government had been updating screening reports on the workers.

According to her, the insinuation, by the organised labour, that government had embarked on endless screening was not correct.

Declaring the conference open, the National President of ASCSN, Mr Bobboi Kaigama, said that corruption had assumed “a big proportion“ in spite of efforts by government to tame it.

” The Nigerian political class should know that there is no way this country can be inspired to greatness if this beast is not decapitated,“ he said

Kaigama,who was represented by Me John Inalegwu, the National Treasurer of the association, stressed the need to reduce corruption to the barest minimum “in our system before it leads to catastrophic consequences.”

Mr Aaron Yusuff, who was re-elected as the state Chairman of the ASCSN, thanked the delegates for the support and the confidence reposed in him.

He promised that issues of welfare, especially salary payment, regular promotion, training and training would engage his attention during his new term in office. (NAN)

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