Okorocha Suspends Imo Accountant General Over Non-Payment Of Workers’ Salaries

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has suspended indefinitely the Accountant-General of the State, Stella Udogwu, over delay and non-payment of the October and November salaries of the local government workers in the state.

The governor also directed the Imo State Commissioner of Police to arrest the Branch Managers of Ecobank and Access Bank In Imo State for alleged collaboration with the accountant general to deny the payment of the workers.

The governor gave these directives on Friday at the Heroes Square in Owerri, the Imo State capital, when he attended the event to mark the 40th anniversary of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).

READ ALSO: Buhari, Tinubu, Atiku Pay Tribute To Late OPC Founder

“I had released the salaries of every worker in Imo State since the second week of October and so if local government workers are being owed, then somebody must take responsibility for it and will be dealt with according to law.

“This is a criminal act aimed at disgracing this government; what they do is that they take the money and put in the bank and collect the interest,” the governor said.

The governor said that the suspension of the accountant-general is with immediate effect. He also directed that the Chief of Staff appoint an acting accountant-general pending the appointment of a new person to the office.

He thereafter directed the immediate payment of three months’ salary including December to the workers with the addition of N10,000 each for the workers as Christmas bonus and N2.5million as car allowance for each of the Local Government Directors of Administration and General Services.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman in the state, Austin Chilakpu, in response, commended the governor for his support for workers in the state as well as the numerous projects embarked upon by the Okorocha-led-administration in the state.

Also, members of the NULGE in Imo State honoured the governor with an award of excellence for his contribution to the welfare of local government workers in Imo state.

APC Criticises Fayose’s Presidential Ambition, Asks Him To Pay Worker’s Salaries

Bayelsa APC Gets Acting Chairman

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has criticised Governor Ayodele Fayose for declaring ambition to contest the 2019 presidential election.

The party in a statement on Friday said instead of aspiring to be Nigeria’s president, the governor should pay his state workers’ salaries and allowances ranging from six to eight months which is being owed.

APC said the governor’s action is not sensitive to the plight of the people of his state as he is “being blind to the sufferings of workers while pursuing presidential ambition”.

Fayose had on Thursday declared his presidential ambition at a ceremony held in Abuja.

The Publicity Secretary of party in Ekiti, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said, “It is the height of wickedness for Fayose to always call teachers to meetings like he did this week to brainwash them on the state’s poor finances.”

READ ALSO: Nigerians Will Determine My Presidency, Not PDP; Fayose

Olatunbosun claimed that the money in the coffers of the state since the governor’s assumption of office is enough to make the people happy if efficiently utilized.

He called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Governor Fayose for misappropriating the state’s funds.

“We urge the EFCC to be meticulous in their investigations into how the governor misapplied bailout of N20billion, CBN’s N2billion loan for small-scale enterprises, N10billion loan for projects, N2.8 billion UBEC/Subeb counterpart fund, monthly allocation from the Federation Account to Local Govt council and  Paris Club cash that he has diverted.”

Delay In Salary Payment Scuttles Civil Servants’ Christmas Plans

nairaFederal civil servants have appealed to authorities to fast track the payment of their salaries to enable them celebrate the Christmas.

Those who spoke to Channels Television in Abuja said the delay in the payment of their salaries had brought them untold hardship.

It is few hours to Christmas and while preparations for some Nigerians are in top gear, some civil servants are deprived because they have not been paid their December salary.

They said it would be marked like any other day.

Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had blamed the delay on the breach of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System by some ministries and parastatals.

But for the civil servants, the non-payment of their salaries has not afforded them the opportunity to travel or prepare for Christmas.

They spoke on what they expected from the government before the year runs out, among which was demand for prompt payment of their salaries and other outstanding benefits.

During the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister of Finance told reporters that Ministries, Departments and Agencies which were yet to receive salaries were those that had exhausted their budget.

She, however, said that the virement submitted to the National Assembly by the presidency was expected to address the challenges faced by workers.

Labour Leader Commends Five Governors For Prompt Payment of Workers’ Salaries

labour Leader, Workers' salariesA former Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu, has commended some state governors for the prompt payment of workers’ salaries and pensions of retirees.

In a statement he issued on Sunday, Aremu asked defaulting state governors to put an end to what he called “crisis of workers’ compensation” in their respective states.

He notes that nothing, including declining oil revenue, could justify delayed or non-payment of workers’ salaries.

He added that payments of salaries and pension are legitimate entitlements and mark of corporate responsibility of any employer.

Aremu, who is also the General Secretary of Textile Workers’ Union commends the renewed energy of the NLC leadership to ensure public employees in states are paid as and when due.

He called on government ministries at federal and state levels to remit contributory pensions of their workers to Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).

He commended the governors of Lagos, Edo, Kwara and Kaduna States as “labour-friendly” governors who pay salaries, pensions, promotion increments and yearly increments of their civil servants.

Mimiko Urges Ondo Workers To End Strike

Ondo, Olusegun Mimiko, WorkersGovernor Olusegun Mimiko has appealed to workers in Ondo State to call off their ‎strike for the interest of the people.

Governor Mimiko made the plea on Thursday while addressing labour leaders at the entrance of the Government House in Akure, the state capital in southwest Nigeria.

He lamented that his inability to pay civil servants’ salaries was due to the present economic recession in Nigeria, which he said led to the drastic reduction of the monthly allocation of funds from the Federal Government.

Governor Mimiko promised ‎to pay up the workers’ salary arrears once the funds are available.

He appealed to the workers to endure and promised that the state government would not retrench any worker.

In her response to the Governor’s request, the Ondo State Chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Bosede Daramola, lamented that workers could not afford to come to work and were also tired of staying at home.

She insisted that the struggle would continue until the state government pays heed to their request, as the civil servants can no longer bear the sufferings.

This follows the indefinite industrial action embarked on by the entire workforce of Ondo State on Wednesday,  June 8, due to government’s inability to pay their five-month salary arrears.

Unpaid Salaries: Ondo Workers Begin Indefinite Strike

Ondo-State-workers-begin-strikeGovernment workers in Ondo State, western Nigeria, have begun an indefinite strike over five month’s arrears of unpaid salaries.

The workers fully complied with the strike, as all state government offices on Wednesday remained locked, with the whole offices vicinity deserted.

Leaders of the workers were seen going round government offices to enforce the industrial action.

The State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Bosede Daramola and that of the Joint Negotiating Council, Sunday Adeleye, told Channels Television that the workers in the state were in serious financial crisis, as most of them could not sustain their financial obligations to their immediate families any longer.

“We have waited patiently. We collaborated with government and participated actively in all the screening exercises to make sure that we have a very clean document to work with.

“At the last meeting we had with the government, they promised to pay us, they paid us the December salary and promised to pay on or before May 31 the outstanding salaries and pensions to our retired officers,” Daramola said, decrying the situation that had affected many of the workers financially.

According to them, they were ready to dialogue with the government but would not resume work until government fulfilled its promise.

Attempts to reach government officials to speak on the issue failed, as they were not available in their offices. Their telephone lines were also switched off.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who is presently out of the state, is expected to cut his trip and return to the state on Thursday to meet with the workers to resolve the crisis.

Ayade Bags Most-Labour Friendly Governor Award

Ben Ayade-LabourThe organised labour in Cross River State has conferred an award on the State Governor, Ben Ayade, declaring him the ‘Most-Labour Friendly Governor’ in Nigeria.

The awards night and dinner took place at the Cultural Center Complex in Calabar, the Cross River State’s capital in southern Nigeria.

Being the first to receive such title among his contemporaries, Governor Ayade was honoured in the presence of his deputy and some other political appointees during a May Day celebration.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Cross River State, John Ushie, said that the Governor was chosen for the award for a number of reasons.

Some of these reason, according to the NLC Chairman, include the prompt payment of workers’ salaries and the courage to embark on economy changing projects.

In his remark, the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Eyo-Nsa Itam, also praised the Governor and urged him to continually keep faith with the workers.

According to Itam, in a period where most of their colleagues were owed salaries in months, Cross River State government had already paid its workers for the month of May.

Expressing his delight, Governor Ayade applauded the labour unions in the state for the honour and promised to do more for workers, despite the downturn in Nigeria’s economy.

Ogun Government Restates Commitment To Workers’ Welfare

Ogun-WorkersAs workers get ready to celebrate May Day, the Ogun State government has reassured civil servants of its commitment to their welfare.

This was revealed on Friday in a statement by the state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr Dayo Adeneye.

In fulfillment of its promise to labour leaders, the state government said it was proud to state that in spite of the current financial crunch, it was not owing workers’ salaries.

This followed the announcement of the payment of April salary to all categories of the Ogun State civil servants and pensioners.

Both labour and government in the state had been in continuous negotiations over the issue of outstanding deductions.

In reaction to this, the Ogun State government also announced the payment of part of the outstanding deductions.

In Niger State, the government debunked rumours making the rounds that it was among the Nigerian states owing workers’ salaries.

The government noted that the state was not only up to date in its obligations to workers, it had also ensured that salaries were paid regularly since the inception of the Governor Abubakar Bello led administration.

We Are Not Owing Workers’ Salaries – Niger State

Niger StateThe Niger State government has debunked rumours making the round that it is among Nigerian states that are owing workers’ salaries.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor of Niger, Jibrin Baba Ndace, said in a press statement on Friday that the rumour making round in the public and published in some section of the media classifying Niger State as one of the states owing workers’ salaries is not true.

He stated that the state is not only up to date in its obligations to workers, it has also ensured that salaries are paid regularly since the assumption of office of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.

“To set the record straight, on assumption of office on the 29th of May 2015, Governor Bello placed priority attention to the welfare of the entire work force in the state by placing payment of workers’ salaries on the first line charge and by ensuring prompt and regular payment to the civil servants.

“It is on record that despite the lean purse of the state and the dwindling national economy, Niger State Government has not defaulted in her statutory responsibility to its workers.

“Governor Bello has been alive to his responsibilities and is religiously and compassionately keeping his part of the social contract he entered to with the people of the state.”

The CPS further claimed that no administration in the 40-year-old state has enjoyed the high level of industrial harmony, peace and cordiality like that of Governor Bello.

He assured the civil servants that regular and prompt payment of workers’ salaries will continue to be on first line charge, as the state government is committed to ensuring a civil service that is well-motivated for the challenges of the 21st Century.

The President Is The Leader Of His Party – Garba Shehu

Garba ShehuThe Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, says President Muhammadu Buhari as the APC leader, remains consistent in his belief that the National Assembly is independent and this would guide his approach to the leadership crisis in Senate.

He said this during an interview on the Thursday morning (June 25) edition of Sunrise Daily on Channels Television where he did a review of the meeting held between Nigerian state governors and the President.

He revealed that the President “mostly listened to what they were saying” and “in fairness to them, the governors took responsibility for the way forward.

“They advised the President to maintain his posture not to be seen to be meddling in the affairs of the National Assembly ‘stay above it and allow us to handle it’ and I think this is what you saw coming from the governors.”

Many Nigerians have wondered if the President would remain unwilling to directly get involved with the matter should the efforts by the governors fail to yield results but Mr Garba Shehu believes this would be fatalistic.

“As a leader, the President has given guidance… His own position is that if the eye troubles you, whatever medicine you’re going to apply, don’t put a pin. The President is not unconcerned,” he said.

He noted also that there must have been some misinterpretation of President Buhari’s promise during his campaign that he would not interfere with the activities of the parliament, especially if the lawmakers would consistently use the President’s pronouncement to justify their refusal of the party’s stance.

“The party did a straw poll – an open and transparent one – which should have been respected. There is no confusion about anything. The party did a process, the President had wished that the party would take that to the very end but that didn’t happen.”

He, however, noted that the President would not impose any candidate on the lawmakers for any position.

Who Is The Leader Of APC?

The crisis in the National Assembly has been blamed on the All Progressives Congress, APC’s seeming stance that they do not have an individual as their leader, who could drive the effort to unify the party in times of crisis.

“Does it need to be said? I don’t think it needs to be said that the President is the leader of his party. There’s no question about it,” Mr Shehu said.

He added that there is need for Nigerians to understand the basics of politics as the country is no more in the military era when decrees are made by a single leader.

“Politics, as its theory says, is basically about contest for interests and these interests may be fully defined by political party programme (while) some of these things may be outside political party programme,” he said, adding that coming from different states there would be different needs influencing the interests every politician would promote.

He also noted that the lawmakers should be appreciated for allowing varying views, “They just cannot pile up in a single line and say ‘here we are, we are all present’.

“When the governors met with the President they told him that ‘we are the leaders in our states and we have influence over all of these senators. They come from our places and from us and we can handle it.”

He affirmed that if the governors are unable to resolve the matter then the President would wade in directly.

“The President has a responsibility to the party, the President has a responsibility to the nation and as far as we are looking at the situation it has not gotten out of control. It is still within manageable parameters, it is a little storm we will overcome and Nigerians better get used to it.”

100 Days Pressure

President Buhari had said while addressing state governors on the financial crisis being faced by many of them that expectations of the first 100 days in office “is bringing so much pressure even when one assumes (office) with a treasury which is virtually empty.

“With debts in billions of dollars, with state workers and some federal workers not even being paid their salaries, its just a disgrace for Nigeria.

“I think Nigeria should be able to at least pay its workers.”

His Spokesman affirmed that the treasury has indeed been emptied, wondering why the media had not asked the former Minister and Deputy Chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Abubakar Suleiman, to provide explanations about the 30billion dollars he claimed was left in the country’s coffers by Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

“We talk about the foreign reserves and the commitment that are well beyond the capacity of the new government especially given the responsibility that has brought forward coming from the election.

“Its a woeful situation and the President needs understanding and he needs help.”

He also spoke about the 100 days pressure which the President claimed to be under.

“Coming into the election, there were all manner of promises that had been made (but) the ground reality is that you must read the books as handed over to you by the outgoing administration.

“As you know, all of these things were kept late (such that) we were not allowed to see the skeletons in the cupboard until the very last minute. Therefore government itself needs time to to read and to understand where we are from the beginning and hope to build on all of that.”

 

Workers’ Salaries: Oshiomhole Says FG Is In Same Dire Situation

Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor on Workers SalariesThe Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, says Nigerian states are not alone in the difficulties being faced in paying workers’ salaries, as the Federal Government is equally in the same dire situation.

Governor Oshiomhole told Channels Television, that the Federal Government was only able to pay its workers with borrowed money.

He claimed that the current crisis could have been avoided if his warnings were not dismissed by those managing the economy.

‘In Same Bad Shape’

“Every year, the Federal government borrowed in trillions of Nigeria, both in domestic sources and foreign sources to meet, not capital projects, but recurrent expenditure.

“At the National Economic Council meeting I have confronted the Minister of Finance face to face on these facts. Whatever we said then was viewed not for its weight but viewed in political terms.

“What is not often stated is the fact that the Federal Government is in the same bad shape,” the Edo State Governor said.

Governor Oshiomhole further explained that the only difference was that Federal Government had been able to sustain the payment of workers’ salaries with funds borrowed rather recklessly.

“If states have access to CBN to command it to provide funds, however, unfairly, to do the sought of thing that the Federal Government was doing, the Federal Government should have defaulted for more than six consecutive months.

“The correct evaluation is that both Federal And States, many are unable to meet their wage obligations within their legitimate income,” he stressed.

The Nigeria Labour congress had said that at least 18 states out of 36 were owing workers’ salaries for over five months.