Kogi state government has urged civil servants in the state against embarking on the declared resumed strike action by the labour unions, assuring it will fast-track payment of salaries in coming days.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Mohammed Awwal Imam, reacting to resumed strike action by workers, described the move by the leaders of labour unions as sabotage.
“The attention of Kogi State Government has been drawn to a statement contained in the Bulletin 8 of the state branch of NLC/TUC, directing Civil Servants to commence strike action with effect from Monday, 27th June 2016,” Imam said.
“This development is viewed as sabotage, considering the fact that payment of arrears of salaries commenced two weeks ago. 48 MDAs out of the total 55 MDAs have been paid, 7 MDAs are yet to be paid because the correct grade levels of the workers are being verified. Salary variations were received from many MDAs for the month of February to April 2016. 14 Local Government Areas with correct information has been paid, while work is in advance stage for the payment of both Local Government Areas and State Pensioners.
“The patience Kogi State workers have endured, should not be thrown away by accepting the strike action. Please note that the action will truncate the ongoing efforts of payment of remaining 7 MDAs, LGAs, and Pensioners.
“Government has the best interest of the State Civil Servants and the entire Kogi State at heart. The Screening Exercise, which is the main cause delay in the payments of salaries, is being carried out in order to eliminate the deep rot we have within the civil service. Those behind the proposed strike action may be those benefitting from the series of illegal salary payment in the past that has crippled the State. I assure you that Government is working round the clock to ensure that the remaining civil servant are paid within the coming days.
“I wish to state categorically that His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, remains committed to the general wellbeing of all Kogi State indigenes, which include the Civil Servants, and ever prepared to weed out ghost workers from the State, with a view to allow workers get paid as at when due.
“For the love and passion that we have for the younger ones in school particularly in Kogi State University, Government wishes to use this medium to plead with the Academic Staff Union of the university to return to their classrooms. The ASUU strike affects not just the psyche of the student, but also causes further stress to the parents and ultimately tarnishes the reputation of our great State. ASUU is reminded that they were the first to be paid even when Government could assess only 40% of the bailout funds requested.
“We should all remain focused on the prize and remind ourselves that the screening exercise will create a lot of savings for the state. The money saved will be used in the prompt and complete payments of the genuine civil servants and also assist in the critical developmental areas identified by His Excellency. These include the creation of world class public model schools, health institutions, development of small and medium enterprises and also rapid rural infrastructural development.
“Civil servants should think deep and join forces with the Government in order to develop our dear State. His Excellency implores you all to disregard falsehoods from persons trying to hinder the development of the State for their personal and other reasons.
“To this end, I hereby enjoined all genuine Civil Servants in the State to go about their normal work schedule and let us all build a new Kogi State in the NEW DIRECTION of the Administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello,” it concluded.