The Nigeria Labour Congress has issued a four-week ultimatum to Kogi State government to clear the salary arrears of workers or face mass action from the National Secretariat of the Organised Labour.
NLC Chairman, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, issued the ultimatum on Wednesday in Lokoja when addressing a crowd of workers who staged a protest against the non-payment of their salaries.
Wabba said the four weeks were to give the government enough time to address the various issues that needed to be addressed.
The workers of the state have been on strike for the past four weeks to protest what they called selective payments and being forced to operate unsolicited accounts where salaries were paid.
The President described the government’s decision to force workers into operating unsolicited accounts as an insult and an affront to the fundamental rights of workers.
He called for a probe of the disbursements of the N20bn bailout funds released to the state.
“I will write a personal letter to the President, demanding that he set up a high powered delegation to probe the disbursements and utilisation of the bailout fund.”
According to him, other states that enjoyed the bailouts are required to set up committees involving labour, the EFCC, the ICPC and other relevant agencies to manage the bailout. He wondered why that of Kogi State would be different.
Wabba said that the NLC played a key role in the release of the bailout. He said, “It is only proper that it should be carried along when disbursing it, if the government wants to be transparent.”
He called on workers to remain resolute but law abiding in their quest to make their voice heard.
Earlier, the state Chairman of the NLC, Onu Edoka, had outlined the plight of the workers to include improper screening exercise which led to the omission of several names from the cleared lists.
Edoka also accused the state government of adopting divide and rule tactics to break the ranks of the union, instead of addressing the fundamental issues at stake.