27 June 2016
The Kogi State Government has described plans by its workers to begin a strike on Monday as an act of sabotage.
The state’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mohammed Imam, said in a statement that the government had the best interest of its workers and the entire state at heart.
He said it was for that reason that the state government began payment of salary arrears of workers in some of the state’s civil service two weeks ago.
He explained that 48 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) out of a total of 55 had been paid, while seven others were yet to be paid because the correct grade levels of the workers were being verified.
Imam also said the salary variations were received from some MDAs for the month of February to April and that 14 local government areas with correct information had been paid.
The commissioner added that work was at advanced stage for the payment of local government workers and state pensioners.
He said: “the patience Kogi State workers have endured should not be thrown away by the strike.
“Please note that the action will truncate the on-going efforts to pay the remaining 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 of delay in the payment of salaries, is being carried out in order to eliminate the deep rot we have within the civil service.
“Those behind the proposed strike may be those benefitting from the series of illegal salary payments in the past, which has crippled the state.’’
Imam said government was working round the clock to ensure that the remaining civil servants were paid within the coming days.
He said that Governor Yahaya Bello was committed to weed out ghost workers to allow genuine workers to get paid as at when due.
The commissioner appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Kogi State University to return to their classrooms for the love and passion of the younger ones in school.
He noted that any ASUU strike would not just affect the psyche of the student, but would cause further stress to the parents and ultimately tarnish the reputation of the state.
“ASUU is reminded that they were the first to be paid even when government could access only 40 per cent 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 payment of genuine civil servants and will also assist in the critical developmental areas identified by the governor,’’ Imam said.
He also urged all civil servants in the state to go about their normal work schedule while joining hands with the state government to build a new Kogi State.