Abuja – Labour leaders in Benue and Plateau on Tuesday said they were firmly behind the agitation for the new minimum wage of N65,500 for workers in the country by national union leaders. They also decried the harsh working conditions in most states and condemned the continuous omission of their names on the payroll of the Benue Government.
The union leaders therefore called on the governor to intervene to end the omissions. Mr Michael Yisah, Benue Chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) decried the non-payment of teachers’ salaries in the state and called for urgent steps to redress the anomaly. He warned that if nothing was done to assuage the sufferings of the teachers, they would not hesitate to embark on industrial action. According to him, teachers in the state received their last salary in January, 2017.
He said that the number of workers omitted from the payroll were more than those currently on the payroll of the government. Similarly, Mr Terungwa Igbe, the President, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Benue, and Treasurer of the NLC, admitted that there were problems at the third tier of government in the state. Igbe said that the government should include all genuine workers in the state on its payroll.
He warned that the union was running out of patience with government over the continuous delay of the completion of workers’ screening in the state. Mr Godwin Anya, the Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Benue, said the workers in the state were using the 2018 May Day celebration to mourn those killed by herdsmen.
Anya said that the workers had no option but to call for God’s intervention to end the killings He said the union was doing “everything possible” to ensure that all genuine workers were included on the payroll as soon as possible. NAN reports it has been alleged that workers in the state are being randomly removed from the payroll without sack letters not minding the number of years they have served in government.
In Plateaun, Mr Yusuf Gagdi, a member of the Plateau House of Assembly, has commended Gov. Simon Lalong, for prompt payment of workers’ wages. According to him, the prompt payment of salaries and pensions by the governor is in tandem with the biblical injunction that labourers should be paid their wages as at and when due.
“I want to use this medium to congratulate the Nigerian workers on the event marking the 2018 Workers’ Day.’’ He also lent his support for the clamour for increase in the minimum wage of workers, In Yola, the NLC says “the war against corruption will remain a mirage until civil servants welfare is provided for’’.
Mr Dauda Maina, Adamawa Chairman of NLC made this known at the 2018 Workers’ day celebration held in Yola on Tuesday. “Corruption and low productivity in the civil service cannot be censored if hunger becomes the trade mark of workers and their families, ” Maina said.
He regretted that primary healthcare workers and primary school teachers in the state were still waiting for their outstanding salaries and six years unpaid leave grants.
Responding, Gov. Muhammadu Bindow of Adamawa thanked the leadership of the union for sacrifice being made by the workers. He said government was committed to improving the living conditions of workers.
Also the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) called for the extension of maternity leave period for working mothers in all workplaces in the country. The Vice President, South-East NAWOJ, Chibota Edozie, said this in a statement she issued in Enugu on Tuesday, while commemorating Workers’ Day with Nigerian workers.
Edozie also called for reduction of working time for nursing mothers to enable them to take good care of their babies. She called on the three tiers of government to seriously look into the conditions of service of female workers who were naturally the pillars of their families.
According to her, undoubtedly women are faced with a lot of inconveniences such as child bearing, pregnancy, taking care of their children and feeding the family. “The rich people in the country, particularly in the South-East, should establish industries to absorb the teeming youths as far as employment is concerned.
“I commend the governors of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu for prompt payment of salaries of workers,’’ she said. Edozie further called on the governors to resuscitate some moribund state owned industries. (NAN)
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