It seems the expectation of Kogi workers that their unpaid salaries spanning into twenty five months would finally be paid isn’t gong. A recent investigation by Premium Times shows that the state government has failed in its responsibility to pay the workers as at when due. However, what is baffling that the state government has amassed billions of naira in loans and bailouts to pay the workers’ salaries which practically has been diverted.
According to reports, Kogi state after receiving a bailout of fifty billion Naira from the federal government to clear its backlog of salaries went ahead to take several loans in excess of thirty billion Naira but yet the salaries remain unpaid. Findings also revealed that the state government rather than settling its salary obligations to all workers chose to employ a divide and use tactic. This is carried out by paying some workers while others will not be paid as a result it will be difficult to make a concrete assertion that salaries were not paid which has left the workers with staggered payments and some workers unpaid altogether.
As a result, some workers are being owed for ten months, others five months while some are being owed up to twenty months which the state Nigerian Labour Congress has condemned. It is important to state that Governor Yahaya Bello hinged his manifesto on a “New Direction” for the state but it’s evident there is no direction at the moment. The state workers are groaning in pains while those that can’t withstand the pressure have taken to suicide.
The news coming out of the state shows nothing is working in the state which every lover of the state should be concerned about. The workers are the fulcrum of the state economy as the economic prosperity of Kogi relies on their hard work but the moment their salaries are not paid, it will reduce their prosperity which further affect the productivity of the state. At this point, it is important the governor take a second look at his manifesto in comparison with the state of things in the state. This should happen fast before the workers die of hunger!