By Ameer Obansa, Lokoja
The Joy of Kogi State workers may have been cut short as the state government was yet to commence Salary payment several days after it received the last tranch of the Paris club refunds.
Kogi State Government had Tuesday declared to workers during the one day protest by labour that workers in the state, particularly MDAs and Tertiary institution workers would be paid three months and four months respectively.
All that hope appeared to have been dashed following the inability of the state government to commence salary payment by Tuesday as announced to the workers by the Chief of Staff, Chief Edward Onoja, who spoke on behalf of government.
Investigation be ENDURINGNEWS revealed that workers would rather be made to undergo the process of been paid manually using table payment.
The source further disclosed that the government was not comfortable with the N2.8billion monthly wage bill it is paying,haven allegedly weed out several ghost workers from its pay roll.
It would be recalled that prior to the protracted screening exercise by the governor Bello led administration, the salaries of workers in the state stood at N2.6 billion naira only.
The Governor, not also comfortable with the development according to the our source , hoped to use the table payment to ascertain the actual wage bill of the state
The source added that the Organize Labour in the state was not pleased with the plan of the government to embark on table payment.
They urged the government to honour the collective agreement by paying the salaries using the Paris club refunds before the planned table payment.
Labour was said to have been taken by surprise the plan table payment after it has successfully reached an agreement, and was only waiting for alert, only to be told of table payment.
The source said that the Organized labour in the state had equally frowned at the figures brandished by agents of the Kogi State Government which puts its wage bill at N2.8billion, even when a substantial number of workers had been screened out or disengaged from the civil service.
The State labour Chairman, Com. Onuh Edoka, stated this when he led a protest march as part of activities by labour to ask for a new minimum wage.
According to Edoka, if the immediate past administration of Capt Idris Wada left a wage bill of N2.6billion which include salaries of all those sacked or relieved from service by the present administration and monthly impress to offices, Labour disagreed with the new government brandished figure of N2.8billion.
The labour Union is now at a loss why the state government now consider it convinient to ascertain the amount it is paying as salary only when the state had received a tranch of Paris club refunds and workers waiting for payment.
However, the argument by labour that Kogi workers have gone through untold hardship occasioned by non payment of salaries could not sway government thinking, the source said
For now Kogi State Workers would have to wait longer than expected to get their outstanding arrears paid with the new government plan, which is an upset, which is most likely to add to the sufferings of Kogi workers.
The Nigerian Labour Congress Kogi State Chapter is yet to make an official statement, but, our findings however revealed that the Labour would soon come up with a position on the new development and the way forward.
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