WORKERS in the local government under the auspices of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Kogi state, on Tuesday said the state government lied when it claimed to have been paying 50 percent of their salary in the last six months.
This is just as workers in the state joined others across the country to protest the non-implementation of the 30, 000 minimum wage for workers.
The local government workers, who were at the Government House, Lokoja were reacting to the statement of the Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Edward Onoja, while addressing the protesters.
The protesters included the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Medical and Health Workers Union (MHWUN), National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
Onoja told the gathering that records had shown that workers in the third tier of government had in the last six months been collecting 50 percent of their salary.
However, the atmosphere became rowdy when Onoja said this as the workers interrupted and started shouting “No No, is not true”.
The development prompted the COS to request for the leadership of NULGE to make clarifications on the implementation of the directive on the payment of 50 percent salary.
The president of NULGE in the state, Comrade Tade Adeyemi, who stepped forward to ascertain the position of the government on the percentage payment, he rebutted the claims, saying local government workers have been receiving 25 to 30 percentage salaries in the last six months.
“I want to on behalf of the entire Local Government workers, register our displeasure that despite our agreement, that no LGA should receive less than 54%, I want to point it to you that, a majority of LGA workers are receiving 25-30% salaries”.
Onoja, however, responded that the Director of LGA’s and Treasurers had confirmed to the government with relevant records that they have been paying 50 percent and above.
Earlier, the state chairman of NLC, Comrade Onuh Edoka, while presenting the demands of workers in the state reminded the government that workers were being owned five months, 10 months, 15-24 months respectively.
Edoka also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly implement the N30,000 new minimum wage adding that, he should not be distracted by some governors hiding under the guise of “Nigeria Governors Forum” who are not willing to support the labour movement.
“We hereby reiterate our directive to Nigerian workers to vote out any politician or political party that refuse to pay the new national minimum wage of N30,000. We shall continue to consolidate our efforts to strengthen already existing platforms and structures to give teeth to our firm resolve to remove from power anti-labour governors and political leaders in the forthcoming 2019 general election.
“We urge the government to desist from using the threat of mass sack or the barbaric policy of “no work, no pay” to break our resolve as this would only calcify our position. And for any government contemplating mass sack as a response to our demands for the implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000, we wish to offer you this advice. The consequence of workers retrenchment would be too grievous for any political office holder truly elected by the people to contemplate” he said.