The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, says workers welfare remains a top priority of his administration.
Governor Bello who stated this on Sunday at the 2022 International Workers Day Celebrations held at the Mohammadu Buhari Civic Centre, Lokoja, promised to sustain the regular payment of salaries and pension to workers.
Bello, while asking the Organized Labour in the State to see the Government as a partner and not an antagonist noted that,
he remained a strong advocates of better pay for workers in Nigeria.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the state government, Dr. (Mrs), Folashade Ayoade Arike, thanked the organized labour for their commitment to industrial Peace, appreciated the organized labour for their understanding, patience and sacrifice.
Bello noted that he was among the first states implement the new minimum wage for workers and lauded the support of labour for his administration.
The Governor who acknowledged the payment of percentage salaries to workers at the LGA level, said the problem arose from over staffing and as well as the low inflow of allocation, saying that having paid 100% as salaries to workers in the State, the same would be made to Local government workers soon as the allocation improved.
The Governor added that since after the staff screening in 2018, the State Government has paid appropriately salaries and pension and gratuity on or before 26th of every month.
Gov. Bello dispelled the rumour making the rounds that the state government is planning retrenchment or downsizing of its workforce.
He expressed sympathy with Nigerians and workers that since 2019, the cost of living has been tough, particularly for workers in the public sector owing to the rising cost of inflation in the country.
Gov. Bello commended Kogi State workers and the Union for their sacrifices, maturity, patience, assuring that he intends using any opportunity available to apply palliatives that would cushion the pains of the workers in the State.
Gov. Bello promised a resuscitation of the car refurbishing loans for civil servants, pointing out that benefitting workers will get
N500,000 each as a revolving loan.
While promising to continue to serve the people of Kogi State with sincere commitment, assured of free and qualitative education, healthcare delivery, good roads, security of lives and property under his administration.
Earlier, the chairman of Trade Union Congress, (TUC), Comrade Ranti Ojo who spoke on behalf of labour, listed the problems of workers to include, non cash backing of promotions, outstanding leave allowances, outstanding 30% of February 2022 salary and the problem of percentage salary payment at the local government level.
In addition, he called on the state government to look into the plights of the retirees by promptly paying their gratuities.