Niger State Governor Orders Payment Of LG Workers

Sani-Bello-Niger--WorkersNiger State Governor, Sani Bello, has directed the immediate release of March salary to the staff of local government councils in the state.

He hinged the delay in payment on the ongoing verification of the entire workforce on the Niger State government payroll and that of the 25 local government councils of the state.

The Governor gave the directive on Wednesday when he paid an unscheduled inspection to the venue of the ongoing verification exercise of local government staff at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre in Minna.

Majority of the council workers said that they were not opposed to the staff audit but expressed displeasure at suffering being experienced in the conduct of the exercise.

Moved by the plight of the workers who came from afar for the exercise, Governor Bello directed the release of the salaries of the council workers immediately, in order to ease hardship on their families.

“I want to appeal to you all to be patient, I have directed the release of everybody’s money (March Salary) and you people should go back to your councils,” he said.

The Governor noted that government was not unmindful of the hardship experienced by the civil servant, insisting that the verification must be carried out so as to fish out ghost worker in the system.

“I wish to assure every one of you that the verification exercise was not a punitive measure targeted at anybody (but) the staff audit is a necessity.

“You all can bear with us that since the inception of this administration, we have always paid workers as and when due but we need to get our figures right, hence this exercise,” he added.

Justifying the staff audit, Governor Bello lamented that the revenue accrued to the state from the Federation Account could not accommodate the wage bill of the state.

“We have a very high wage bill we cannot accommodate. This month (March) alone, the whole money we got from (the) Federal Government is 2.69 billion Naira and our wage bill is N2.4 billion. We have to borrow over 400 million Naira from the bank, so, the verification must continue,” he said.

He pleaded with the council workers to exercise patience and told them that the verification exercise would be rested for a while to enable government fine-tune some identified lapses in the exercise and continue it in a more organised manner.

NLC, TUC Protest Verification Policy By Kaduna Govt.

NLC, TUC Protest Verification Policy By Kaduna Govt.Civil servants in Kaduna State have shunned their offices in protest against the new verification exercise introduced by the state government mandating them to indicate if they want to be part of a labour union or not.

In their hundreds, they converged on the state NLC secretariat on Wednesday with representatives of affiliate unions and civil society organisations to hold a mini rally in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

They condemned what they described as the deliberate attempt by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to enslave them and destabilise unionism in the state public service.

The workers under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) alleged that most of them had not been paid salaries for about eight months.

Speaking in company of the TUC President, Bobbi Kaigama, and a rights activist, Festus Okoye; the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, explained that one of the columns in the form required workers to indicate whether they wanted to belong to a union or not.

He added that the new directive was strange to them.

“It contravenes the labour laws concerning to employees/employers condition of service,” he said.

Also at the rally was the former NLC Vice President, Issa Aremu, who said that the organised labour would use all legal means at their disposal to ensure that the new policy does not stand, maintaining that the governor had no right to meddle into labour affairs.

Reacting to the protest, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Finance, Suleiman Kwari, said that the exercise was aimed at ascertaining the true number of its workforce and not targeted to destabilise the unions.

He explained that there was nothing wrong with the government asking the workers to indicate if they wanted to belong to a union or not since it was optional to do so.

The commissioner also disclosed that those who were being owed salaries had issues with their documentation.

The Kaduna State has given the workers till Monday, March 28, to fill and return the forms and has vowed to apply sanctions against defaulters.

Labour Tackles Kaduna Govt Over Fresh Biometric Exercise

KadunaThe organised labour union is set for a showdown with the Kaduna State government over the introduction of a fresh verification exercise.

According to them, the exercise will compel civil servants in the state to fill forms indicating if they still want to be members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) or not.

Reacting to this, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and his TUC counterpart, Bobbai Kaigama, have directed the workers to disregard the order by not filling the form.

He said the new screening exercise was against International Labour Organisation Convention on Rights of Workers, and a deliberate measure to destabilise unionism in the Kaduna State’s public service.

Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved workers, the TUC Chairman in Kaduna State, Shehu Mohammed, stressed that they wanted the government to expunge the portion of the verification form that stated that civil servants should decide whether or not, they want to belong to a labour union in the new state government’s rules of engagement.

According to the workers, the Kaduna State government had issued out a form titled “Special Exercise on Staff Verification”, where it requested all workers under its payroll to either fill a “Yes or No”, for membership of a union.

Reacting to the allegation, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, through his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, said that the exercise was a continuation of the previous one that commenced in 2015 and not a new one.

He explained that the verification process was necessary to establish a comprehensive data and therefore, could not be considered conclusive until the government was reasonably satisfied that it had eliminated ghosts from its payroll.

Regarding union membership, Aruwan said that “the government respects the right of workers to freedom of association”, but stressed that the state government considered that it was democratic that those who wish to exercise this right or not should indicate in writing.

While government insists that the introduction of the form is not to break the ranks of the NLC or TUC in Kaduna State, the workers have agreed to meet by Wednesday to take a definite stand on their next line of action, as they vowed not to sign the controversial form.

Ghost Workers: Kwara To Commence Verification Of Civil Servants

Ghost WorkersKwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has announced that his government will soon conduct verification exercise for the state civil servants in order to flush out ghost workers in the state.

Governor Ahmed made this known while addressing members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the state at a banquet hall in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.

The workers, according to him, include primary school teachers, local government workers amongst others as well as pensioners in the state.

The Governor lamented that dwindling fund has affected the smooth running of government as there was no more excess funds to be shared.

He said that the fund expected to be returned from the payment to ghost workers would be channelled towards provision of essential needs of the people.

Governor Ahmed warned those involved in the shady deals to desist to avoid being dealt with in accordance with the law.