The Labour Union in Kogi state, north-central Nigeria, has called on the governor of the state, Yahaya Bello to prioritize workers’ welfare and clear salary backlog, noting that the civil servants are not happy with him.
Naija News reports that the Kogi State chairman of United Labour Congress (ULC), Comrade Simeon Opaluwa made this call during a chat with members of the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) in Lokoja, the state capital over the weekend.
The Kogi State ULC Chairman said civil servants are not happy due to the inability of the state government to clear outstanding salaries and pensions, adding that the ugly situation is having an adverse effect on the state economy.
His words: ”Kogi is a civil service state and any development without payment of salary amounts to nothing. The core responsibility of any government is to provide security and welfare for the people. I can categorically say Governor Yahaya Bello has failed woefully in the area of welfare and he must address the issue of salary backlogs without further delay, ” he explained.
Comrade Opaluwa, however, admitted that the governor has eliminated many ghost workers from its payroll through the screening exercise.
The Labour leader also commended the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for what he termed “an impressive performance in health, security, road construction as well as the revival of cultural activities, especially in Igalaland.”
He called on the state governor to sustain his administration’s gains in area of security so as to avoid the return of thuggery, hooliganism, kidnapping among others.
Meanwhile, the NGIJ Media Tour of Kogi state continued as the investigators met with state government officials led by Governor Yahaya Bello who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folasade Ayoade.
Other officials at the meeting held inside Government House are the Chief of Staff, Chief Edward Onoja, some key commissioners, Special Advisers, SSAs and other top government functionaries.
The officials used the opportunity to clarify some controversial issues including payment of local government staff salaries, creation of jobs to unemployed Kogi youths through agriculture, governance and others.
Naija News had reported earlier that preliminary findings by members of the Guild who are presently in Kogi state on fact-finding mission ahead of November 2019 governorship election in the state, revealed that some “Kogites” are not happy with Governor Bello due to his alleged insensitivity to plight of workers which they say have greatly affected economic activities in the state.
Speaking on the ongoing investigation, NGIJ President, Wale Abydeen, said the Guild has administered over 10,000 copies of questionnaire across the 21 local government areas of the state.
His words: ”We are on a fact-finding mission in Kogi state to assess the impact or otherwise of the Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration on the people of the state,” he added.
Abydeen said in the course of its mission, the NGIJ will meet different interest groups including Labour Unions, Pensioners, Traditional rulers, Market women, traders, political parties and government functionaries to get firsthand information.