Lokoja — Civil servants in Kogi State now beg to feed their families, due to non-payment of their monthly emoluments, according to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) lamented yesterday.
The state chairman of NLC, Onuh Edoka, at the seventh quadrennial delegates' conference in Lokoja, appealed to the state government to do something urgently to reverse the trend.
Edoka maintained that the civil servants were owed between seven and 30 months in salaries, a situation he said made it impossible for them to pay their bills.
He also regretted that workers were being owed their leave bonuses, while promotion exercise carried out by the government was not cash-backed, but existed only on paper.
The chairman described the local government workers, who were being paid ridiculous percentage salaries for years, as the worst hit, adding that the Ministry of Local Government had become a government of its own.
According to him, despite that retirees do not collect their pensions regularly, some of them did not receive pension months, and in some cases over one year, after retirement.
He appealed to the state government to pay more attention to the welfare of workers, adding that the screening exercise, though desirable, was responsible for backlog of salaries.
The NLC, therefore, called on the federal government to release the balance of N30.8 billion bailout fund to enable the state defray the salary arrears.
Responding, Governor Yahaya Bello promised to prioritise the welfare of workers in the state, even as he said that the balance of the bailout fund, when released by the federal government, would be used for payment of salaries only.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Edward Onoja, commended the workers for their support to his administration in trying times.
The screening exercise, though painful, has recorded positive results, as some unqualified people have been eliminated from the state's pay roll, he added.