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Unpaid Salaries: Plateau, Benue, Ondo Workers, Others Groan

Workers in Plateau, Benue, Ondo, Abia and other states are groaning over the failure of the authorities to pay their salaries, Punch reports.

The states, it was gathered, owed the workers several months of salary arrears.

Plateau State workers explained that the government owed them three months’ salaries .

The state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Eugene Manji, disclosed on Sunday that the union had written several letters to the government demanding that the backlog of the workers’ salaries be cleared to alleviate the workers’ sufferings but that government was yet to respond.

Manji said, “The last payment to the workers in the state by the government was in May this year. So, we are being owed salaries from June to August. We have been on their neck to pay us because our members are not finding it easy. We have also written some letters to the government but the Head of Service kept promising us to be patient until next month when the state government is expected to receive the next federal allocation. So ,we are waiting and we hope that he will make good his promise to clear the backlog.”

In Benue, it was revealed that the Samuel Ortom administration owed the state workers five months’ salary while local governments have failed to clear the four months’ salary arrears.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a worker said, “If you remember, state workers were owed five months and local government workers were owed four months and this was in 2017 when the governor said that he owed because he was in APC.

“In 2018, he drew a line and said he would place more premium on payment of salaries and promised that the 2017 arrears would be paid when revenue to the state improves.’’

Another worker in one of the ministries in the state who did not want to be mentioned said that aside of the five months arrears of 2017, the state government was owing workers three months.

He said, “I think you are aware that this same government is owing state workers five months of 2017, while in the local government, particularly, primary school teachers, it is up to eight months.’’

The state Chairman of the NLC, Godwin Anya said that aside the 2017 arrears, workers in the state were owed between two and three months.

He said, “Payment of salary is staggered; some ministries were paid May, 2022 salary few weeks ago while some were paid June, 2022 salary. So, we cannot say that they are uniform.’’

Abia workers

The NLC Chairman in Abia State, Uchenna Obigwe, explained that workers in the state were owed about six months’ salaries.

He said, “Abia workers, even pensioners are being owed a minimum of six months. They include Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Abia Poly, and secondary school teachers, among others. None of them is being owed less than six months salaries.

“The state government is like the head of the family and its responsibility is to take care of the family. There is no other obligation they have than to pay salaries and pensions. Yes, they have been doing their best in the area of infrastructure, but it is only a living human being that will walk on a very good road and other infrastructure.”

A Health Management Board worker who gave the breakdown of the state’s indebtedness to its workers said, “The state is owing ABSUTH – 25 months; HMB – 11 months; Abia Polytechnic – 24 months; College of Arochukwu – 28 months; ASUBEB – one and half months; LG workers and health authorities – two and half months.’’

Others, he said, weere the Abia College of Health and Science Technology – two months and pensioners – 9 – 36 months as at May.

The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu had in his 31st anniversary broadcast Saturday, assured that he was making serious efforts to pay the workers.

Ondo State workers are said to be going through hard times as the government had yet to clear the five months’ salary arrears owed the civil service.

According to a labour leader who spoke on condition of anonymity, the government recently paid the April 2022 salary.

He said, “ The workers in Ondo State are being owed five months’ salary arrears and we received April salary last.

“From April to the end of this August, the arrears would total five months; four months by this administration and one month owed by the immediate past administration.”

He, however, thanked Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, for paying six out of the seven months salaries owed by the last administration.

The Chairman, Trade Union Congress in Ekiti State, Sola Adigun, said on Sunday that although the state government had paid salaries up to date, workers were still being owed arrears inherited by the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration as well as salary deductions.

Adigun said, “Workers in the local government are being owed five months’ arrears of salaries while those at the state level are being owed two months’ arrears of salaries. Aside that, Ekiti has paid salaries up to date.’’

The Secretary, Association of Senior Civil Servants, Chukwuma Igbokwe told one of our correspondents on telephone on Sunday that the Enugu State government had paid workers’ salaries up to date.

According to Igbokwe, “The agitations now is on non- implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage to workers of parastatals, primary school teachers and local government and discussions are ongoing between labour and the state government.”

Findings in Kogi State indicate that the LG workers were being paid only the percentages of their salaries.

The development, it was learnt, preceded the current administration.

The Chairman of the National Union of Local Government Employees, Tade Adeyemi, declined to speak.

“I will have to get clearance from the national secretariat before I can talk to you. I will be able to speak to you on Tuesday,” he added.

The state Commissioner for information, Kingsley Fanwo, however, contended that it was not the responsibility of the state to pay local government workers’ salaries.

Workers in Ogun State lamented the non-payment of their two years’ salary deductions by the state government.

They alleged that the state government only paid the net instead of gross salary.

The workers who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that the government a few weeks ago paid one out of the 24 months deduction it owed its workforce.

A worker stated, “The government does not owe us salaries. It pays us up till date but it has refused to pay us our deductions. In fact, just two weeks ago , the government paid one month out of 24 months’ salary deduction it is owing us. We are not happy because the government decided to pay net salary instead of gross salary. We need our full salary.’’


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