…Saraki, Ahmed, Speaker, 18 others bag award
By Matthew Denis
Kwara State branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have given the state government a 30-day ultimatum to clear all salary arrears due to council workers and state parastatals.
The state Chairman of NLC, Comrade Yekeen Agunbiade and his TUC counterpart, Comrade Nasir Olumoh made the disclosure separately while presenting their papers in celebration of the Workers Day at the Metropolitan Square, Ilorin on Tuesday.
Agunbiade said, “Today’s occasion affords me the opportunity to once again speak on workers’ demands lingering for a very long time.
“May I crave your indulgence to express my persistent concern over the continuing inability of the states governments to promptly pay the monthly salary of their employed workers despite the series of bailout by the Federal Government.
“I call on the states governments concerned to pay their workers outstanding salaries to alleviate their sufferings.”
Agunbiade also urged the Kwara state government to source for funds in order to clear the salary backlog of local governments and parastatals as the recent N4 billion loan could only cater for two months payment.
He said, “Some of these councils owe their workers close to eight months salary and the N4 billion loan hasn’t end their ordeal.
“We the labour unions have resolved to give the state government from now till May ending to clear all these salary arrears; otherwise, we’ll embark on industrial action.”
Also speaking, Olumoh noted that the issue of the proposed N66,000 new minimum wage is paramount to the workers.
He said, ” Any attempt by the state government to deny, doctor or manipulate the new N66,000 minimum wage will be collectively revolted by the workers and their leaders in Kwara.
“On the salary arrears at the councils, pensioners and parastatals, MDAs, I strongly wish to sound this to the Kwara State Government that if these monies are not paid on or before 31st of May, 2018, we will embark on strike.”
Speaking, the representative of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who doubles as the Head of Service, Mrs. Susan Oluwole enjoined the workers to be committed to their duties and cooperate with the present administration for the growth of the state.
She however said the state government will call the unions to roundtable to dialogue on their demands.
Meanwhile no fewer than 21 personalities were given awards by NLC at the Banquet hall, Ilorin on Tuesday, for their outstanding performances.
Leading the list of awardees are; the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Governor Ahmed, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, Barr. Yusuf Ola-Olu Ali SAN and wife of Kwara State Governor, Deaconess Omolewa Ahmed.
Others are Hon. Aliyu Ahman Patigi, former CPS to former Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Mas’ud Adebimpe, Alh. Ganiyu Saka Cook Olododo among others.
Speaking with our reporter, Alhaji Adebimpe appreciated NLC for the recognition while promising to continue to render service to humanity.
On the agitation for a new salary scale, he said, “the current minimum wage is nothing to write home about as inflation is on the high and all states in the country should collaborate in realising this as labour is the engine room of any nation