Kogi workers beg Buhari to send NEMA to their rescue over unpaid salaries

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Civil Servants in Kogi State have made a special appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the case of their prolonged non-payment of salaries by the Governor Yahaya Bello-led administration of the state.

The workers specifically requested that the president direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other humanitarian agencies to send them food, drugs and other relief materials, while also urging Buhari to consider the condition of their children who they said had been sent out of school because they could no longer pay their school fees.

This was contained in statement jointly released Wednesday in Lokoja by the state chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council.

The civil servants revealed that they were being owed between 11 and 21-month salaries.

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“The situation of workers in the state is worse than the condition of the Internally Displaced Persons in various camps.

“The agony of the workers is not in any way less than the experiences of victims of natural disasters.

”A situation where workers cannot afford even one meal a day and pay the school fees of their children is already a humanitarian issue.

“As it stands today, over 30 per cent of the workforce is owed 21 months’ salaries. Twenty per cent have unpaid salaries of between 11 and 18 months, while about 45 per cent took their salaries up till June this year.

“These are the category of workers the Kogi State Government is forcing to embrace the ‘clock-in, clock-out’ work policy”, the workers said.

They also begged the indigenes of the state at home and abroad to show concern and assist them in whatever form they could.

Recall that workers in the state had, on September 22, embarked on an indefinite strike to demand for payment of their salary arrears.

In response, Director-General, Media and Publicity, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, had said the government was yet to enter into negotiations with labour over their demands because the signatories to the strike notice were unknown to them.

He had urged workers to disregard labour’s directive to go on strike, stating that their claims on salary arears were just an attempt to misinform the public for selfish reasons.


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Chidi Chinedu

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