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‘Our situation worse than IDPs’ — Kogi workers beg for food

‘Our situation worse than IDPs’ — Kogi workers beg for food
September 27
18:26 2017
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Some workers in Kogi state have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other humanitarian agencies to supply food and relief materials to them.

The workers also appealed to members of the public to rescue them from the hardship resulting from non-payment of their salaries.

The civil servants said they were being owed between 11 and 21 months salaries.

They urged the presidency to consider the condition of their children who had been “sent out of schools because they could no longer pay their school fees”.

They made the demands in a statement signed by Olakunle Faniyi, Kolawole James and Isah Abubakar, secretaries of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC).

“The situation of workers in the state is worse than the condition of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various camps,” the statement read.

“The agony of the workers is not in any way less than the experiences of victims of natural disasters.

“A situation where workers cannot afford even one meal a day and pay the school fees of their children is already a humanitarian issue.

“As it stands today, over 30 percent of the workforce is owed 21 months salaries.

“Twenty (20) percent have unpaid salaries of between 11 and 18 months while about 45 percent took their salaries up till June this year.

”These are the category of workers the Kogi state government is forcing to embrace the ‘clock-in, clock-out’ work policy.”

The civil servants also implored the indigenes of the state at home and abroad to show concern and assist in whatever form they could.

On September 22, workers in the state embarked on an indefinite strike to demand payment of their salary arrears.

But Kingsley Fanwo, media aide of Yahaya Bello, governor of the state, said government had not entered into negotiation with labour over the demand.

He said this was because the signatories to the strike notice were unknown to the government.

Fanwo faulted labour’s claim on salary arrears, saying they were out to misinform the public for selfish reasons.

He urged workers to disregard the labour’s directive to go on strike.

Editor’s note: This picture was used for illustrative purposes

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