By Osa Okhomina,Yenagoa
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has denied the claims by some workers and politicians in the state of an alleged involvement in the N10million gratification from Governor Seriake Dickson to soft pedal and accept the payment of one and half month salaries from the second tranche of Paris Club fund to the State.
Some Workers and politicians in the State had alleged that there were financiql inducement from the State Government to Labour Leaders during a meeting at the State Government House over the released N10billion to the State from the Paris C Fund.
The duo of Comrade John Ndiomu and Comrade Tari Dounana of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) respectively described as untrue the claims of compromise with the state government against the workforce in the state over the sharing formular of the second tranche of the Paris / London refund released by the Federal Government.
The Labour Leaders, who described the claim as the handi work of mischief makers in the state who
are bent on destabilizing the polity, claimed the 75 percent directive by the Federal Government on paying of backlog arrears of salaries have been achieved.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman, Comrade Tari Dounana, who gave the breakdown of the decisions entered with the State Government, said that the sole aim of meeting the government was based on the backlog, disclosing that
out of the ten billion Paris Club refund accrude to the State, N919 million was allocated to the Local
Government council and about N7 billion will go for one and a half salary payment for state workers, pensioners and those on death benefits will not also be left out.
He also commended the federal government for promptly publishing the right figures released to states unlike what happened with the first
tranche, advising that it should be a continuous process so that it will enable the public and workers know what was allocated to their states.
He urged the federal government to henceforth remove the clause of what percentage should be used for the payment of salaries, but rather
an order of 100 percent salary payment, adding that if clauses are injected into the monies it will pave way for other anomalies that will be capitalized on the clause.
The NLC Chairman, John Ndiomu, stated that the earlier agreement was for government to pay two months salaries but when they did the
calculation it was over the stipulated 75 percent for salary backlog because of the huge wage bill of the state.
He said the Labour Leaders in the State and the additional local government council salaries inclusion, noting that they will continue to engage government and ensure the worker force of the state gets what is due them.
He submitted that the same way they have been engaging government to ensure that not one naira of their salaries of 2017 is owe them, they
will continue to work and ensure all the backlogs of last year is paid, noting that the assurances are that there’s a relative increase in the allocation compare to last year.
In his brief, the Secretary of the state NLC, Comrade Dinepri Yorukere, said “We looked into the figures before decision were taken, we are not on any persuasion or either compelled do agree but we critically examined what the implications were, the LGA council monies were removed, pensioners added and we all know the huge wage bill of the state so we considered all of that so that government can also have something to run with.”
He encourage the workers to be confident in the leadership of the various unions in the state, adding that there’s no atom of betrayal in the negotiations process.