Edo sanitary workers protest 8 months salary arrears

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From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

Street sweepers in the payroll of the Edo State Management Board yesterday embarked on another protest over non-payment of their eight months salary.

The protesters, who marched through the ever-busy Kings Square to Edo State Government House, had earlier, on November 3, 2017,  protested the non-payment of their seven months salaries.

Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who received the protesters on behalf of the governor, assured them that issues leading to the delay in the payment of their salaries were being resolved.

The deputy governor noted that the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, was at the meeting with all the contractors in the Waste Management Agency to resolve the issues.

He said the government was planning a better Public Private Partnership to keep the state clean, adding that the partnership would impact positively on their welfare.

Addressing newsmen, the spokesperson for the sweepers, Aigbe Jerry, who appealed to the state government to pay the eight months salaries, alleged that they had been stopped from work and their jobs given to SEEFOR.

“On November 3, 2017, we protested the non-payment of our salaries and the government promised that within a week they would pay us. The deputy governor, who addressed us during the protest, promised we would be paid second week of November. We all joyfully and happily went home. 

“Since then, we have been going to government house and waiting for the money.

We were at the government house again and we were told to wait till November ending. Now, November has come and gone without payment. And on December 1, we went to our office and did not see our manager. 

“When we called him on phone, he asked us to wait and said the salary vouchers had been signed. Since then, we have been waiting for the money.

But few days later, the manager told us to stop work till when money is available to pay us. He promised to pay us on Tuesday, today (yesterday) is Thursday.

“They told us that the work had been taken from them and given to SEEFOR,” he said.

Also speaking, Helen Jamiu and Christian Okhoroye, said government was not paying them the correct monthly salary. She pointed out that, in the employment letters, they were offered N25,000 monthly, but, instead, they were being paid N7,500 monthly.

Okhoroye said her husband was, on Wednesday, arrested by the landlord for non-payment of house rent.

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