Connect with us


Workers groan as govs, aides, commissioners receive salaries



Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress at the 2016 International Workers’ Day celebration in Lagos.Photos: Saheed Olugbon

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress at the 2016 International Workers’ Day celebration in Lagos.Photos: Saheed Olugbon

Civil servants currently being owed salaries across the country have described as unfair, wicked and inhuman, situations whereby they continue to suffer with members of their families while government functionaries were allegedly being paid at the end of every month.

They specifically accused their governors of ensuring regular payment of salaries and allowances to political office holders and state legislators despite owing workers several months of salaries.

Labour leaders and civil servants in Kwara, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Benue, and Kaduna states expressed these feelings during separate interviews with SUNDAY PUNCH correspondents.

In Kwara State, labour leaders said they were unhappy that government functionaries were enjoying regular monthly payments while workers were allowed to suffer.

They alleged that workers in the 16 local government councils and those of the State Universal Basic Education Board were being owed many months of salary arrears.

The labour leaders also said it was unfair that pensioners in the state were being owed many months of pension arrears and gratuity.

Those who spoke included the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Yemi Agunbiade; the Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Mr. Afolabi Abayomi; and the Chairman, Kwara State Local Government Pensioners Association, Alhaji lsiaka Akanbi.

But the Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara State Governor on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede in a telephone interview, claimed that workers and political office holders in the state were receiving their salaries every month.

Workers in Ekiti State also cried out that they were being owed five months salaries by the state government.

But the State Commissioner for Information, Lanre Ogunsuyi, said political appointees in the state were also owed five months salaries.

Similarly, in Benue State, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Terver Akase, said that just like any other civil servants, political office holders had yet to receive their salaries.

He stated that Governor Samuel Ortom ensured that workers in the state were being paid up to date.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Chapter of the Trade Union Congress, said the conditions of civil servants in the state have assumed a worrisome dimension, due to their unpaid 11 months’ cooperative deductions.

The state chairman of the union, Olubunmi Fajobi, said majority of civil servants who were currently being owed were now living under extreme poverty.

SUNDAY PUNCH correspondent in the state, however noted that all the political office holders and members of the state House of Assembly, were receiving their salaries and allowances, as at when due.

In Ondo State, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said political office holders in the state were also being owed some months of salaries like the state civil servants.

Akinmade said political appointees were usually paid after the civil servants had received their salaries.

He said, “It is the civil servants that prepare the salaries of the political appointees, including the governor. So, it is not possible for us to collect salaries when the workers are being owed.

“No appointee has collected his or her salary up-to-date in Ondo, since the workers are still being owed. Political office holders are also being owed.”

In Oyo State, SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that workers in the state civil service are currently being paid their February 2016 salary, leaving a backlog of five months unpaid salaries.

One of the public servants, who pleaded anonymity, said she was happy that the two salaries were paid to the workers after several weeks of industrial strike, but stated that it was not enough to clear their outstanding debts.

She said, “The state government fulfilled its promise by paying us two months salaries, but we are owing several sources huge debts, including banks. We will appreciate further commitment to ease the difficulties.”