By Samuel Prince-Nnaji
The Labour Union has charged Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello to prioritize workers’ welfare and clear salary backlog.
The Kogi State chairman of United Labour Congress (ULC), Comrade Simeon Opaluwa made this call on at the weekend in an exclusive interview with members of the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) in Lokoja, the state capital.
Comrade Opaluwa said civil servants are not happy due to inability of the state government to clear outstanding salaries and pensions, adding that the ugly situation is having adverse effect on the state economy.
”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.
The Labour leader however admitted that the governor has eliminated many ghost workers from its payroll through the screening exercise.
He 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 revival of cultural activities, especially in Igalaland.”
Opaluwa called on Governor Bello to sustain his administration’s gains in area of security so as to avoid the return of thuggery, hooliganism, kidnapping among others.
The NGIJ Media Tour of Kogi state continues 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.
The NGIJ team is expected to meet with the state Accountant General, Alhaji Momoh Jubril, later today, Sunday, May 12, 2019 for government’s angle to the issue of staff verification, utilization of bailout funds, payment of salaries among others.