Tuesday, August 22, 2017 7:14 pm
The Zamfara State Government has not paid gratuities to its retirees or death benefits to survivors of its late workers in the last 10 years, according to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Mr Bashir Marafa, chairman of the state chapter of the NLC, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gusau on Tuesday that the state currently owes the retirees N4 billion, following that failure to meet the obligations since 2008.
NAN reports that the NLC on Monday gave the state government a 21-day ultimatum to meet the workers’ demand or risk “an indefinite total strike”.
Marafa wondered why the state government did not deploy the bailout funds and Paris Club refunds to settle the liabilities as directed by the Federal Government.
“Our conclusion is that the monies were either diverted or mismanaged because workers’ annual and promotion increments have not been effected, while pensioners and retirees benefits have remained unsettled.
“Again, many vacancies have been created through retirements and deaths in the state civil service, but there has been no replacements since the present governor came into office six years ago,” he alleged.
The NLC regretted that several meetings with the governor over the issues had failed to yields fruits as promises were never fulfilled.
“That is why we gave the government a 21-day ultimatum to meet the workers demands or risk a total strike,” he declared.
Reacting, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Publicity, said that the ultimatum from the NLC came as a “big surprise”.
“The ultimatum was a surprise because the NLC had no reason to make that calls,” he told NAN.
“In all the meetings between the state government and NLC, government has always said it was still weeding out ghost workers from its payroll.
“We also have a lot of unqualified staff, both at the state and local government levels and have taken measures to weed them out,” he said.
The governor’s aide said that the state government had never failed to pay workers salary and pensions to retirees. (NAN)