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My wife sells food and pure wa­ter, all our four chil­dren hawk on the streets be­cause of our con­di­tion and I am still look­ing for an al­ter­na­tive means of liveli­hood be­cause of the fu­ture of my chil­dren. Right now, all of them are in pub­lic schools, al­thoug

Weekly Trust - - News | Feature -

year re­moved two of my chil­dren from a pri­vate school to a gov­ern­ment one be­cause I can­not af­ford their school fees in the pri­vate school any more. When the con­di­tion bites harder, I skip Mon­day classes and go to the Asakio vil­lage mar­ket on the out­skirts of Lafia to off-load goods from trucks to sur­vive,” he said.

Gov­er­nor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura dur­ing the week asked the state chap­ter of the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) to leave him and the work­ers as ac­cord­ing to him, they have struck a “work­ing un­der­stand­ing” over their salaries.

The gov­er­nor’s spokesman, Ahmed Tukur, said the re­mark cred­ited to the party that work­ers were hav­ing is­sues over their salaries was just black­mail.

“The state gov­ern­ment and labour had signed an agree­ment on the 10th of De­cem­ber, 2016 that if ac­cru­als from the fed­er­a­tion ac­count were not suf­fi­cient to pay salaries in any month, the said amount would be re­served and added to ac­cru­als from the fol­low­ing month to pay one month salary in full,” the state­ment said.

It added that the Paris Club re­funds had since been uti­lized as ad­vised by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and as­sured the work­ers that the Al-Makura ad­min­is­tra­tion would al­ways make staff salaries a priority.

The PDP had ear­lier chal­lenged Gov­er­nor Umaru Al-Makura to di­rect his fi­nance com­mis­sioner to give de­tails of where and how the Paris Club fund re­leased to the state was uti­lized.

The PDP’s po­si­tion was con­tained in a state­ment signed by the state’s pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary, Muhammed Bwala.

The state chair­man of the Nige­ria Labour Congress (NLC), Ab­dul­lahi Adeka, con­firmed the agree­ment between the gov­ern­ment and the labour lead­er­ship that in­stead of re­ceiv­ing half salaries, the union opted for the money to be kept un­til the end of the sub­se­quent month to meet their tar­get of 100 per­cent pay­ment.

“All the work­ers con­verged here at the NLC sec­re­tar­iat and agreed that once the ac­cru­als do not meet the tar­get to pay 100 per­cent the gov­ern­ment should keep the money in­stead of hav­ing the ar­rears of 50 per­cent which they don’t know when they will be paid. It is bet­ter they have the as­sur­ance of one full month salaries. This was a unan­i­mous NEC meet­ing de­ci­sion, and that is why the gov­er­nor went to the me­dia and said he had an agree­ment with the work­ers. But this agree­ment af­fects only core civil ser­vants who re­ceive salaries di­rectly from the state gov­ern­ment,” he added.

Civil ser­vants in the state have not re­ceived their Jan­uary salaries, and there is ev­ery like­li­hood that they will wait till the end of Fe­bru­ary based on the sub­sist­ing agree­ment.

A civil ser­vant in Doma LGA, Dan­juma Musa, told our correspondent that he was al­ready look­ing for an­other job to quit his lo­cal gov­ern­ment job, say­ing, “I re­ceive N14,000 as salary and what can that do for a fam­ily of seven? If not be­cause of rel­a­tives who are peas­ant farm­ers that sup­port me with food items, my life would have been mis­er­able by now.

“My wife sells food and pure wa­ter, all our four chil­dren hawk on the streets be­cause of our con­di­tion and I am still look­ing for an al­ter­na­tive means of liveli­hood be­cause of the fu­ture of my chil­dren. Right now, all of them are in pub­lic schools, al­though the senior child was in a pri­vate school but the present con­di­tion forced me to trans­fer him to a pub­lic school.

“I am ap­peal­ing to the state gov­ern­ment to look into the cur­rent con­di­tions of work­ers. We all aware of the eco­nomic re­ces­sion in the coun­try but I am call­ing on Gov­er­nor Al-Makura in the name Al­lah to look in­wards and come to the res­cue of thou­sands of Nasarawa in­di­genes whose lives are de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.”

The state chair­man of the Nige­ria Union of Teach­ers (NUT), Jatau Tete Fran­cis, said the union was dis­cussing with five other unions un­der lo­cal gov­ern­ment ad­min­is­tra­tion to make their po­si­tion known on the pay­ment of salaries in per­cent­ages. Ef­forts to get the state chair­man of NULGE, Abubakar Ab­dul­lahi, for com­ments were abortive.

Abubakar Ab­dul­lahi, Nasarawa State NULGE Chair­man

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