*LG Workers Salaries, Allowances Still Pending – NLC, NULGE
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has denied that civil servants in the state were owed salaries.
In a special live interview on AKBC radio/ television Monday, the Governor said that the state government was only yet to pay March salary due to the Easter holiday and will soon ensure that it is settled.
He however acknowledged that there were few exceptional cases involving civil servants omitted during the biometric data capturing and those who failed to comply with the BVN exercise. He therefore advised them to get themselves sorted out to be able to regularize their payment.
The Governor mentioned that his decision to reject the Federal Government bail out funds was borne out of his desire to ensure that workers are paid, adding that such arrangement would have deprived the state the ability to pay workers salaries.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Akwa Ibom State council, Comrade Etim Ukpong has confirmed that civil servants in the state’s employ were paid almost up to date, he however argued that the claims made by state government was basically salaries, as allowances and other benefits due to civil servants have been pending for years
He also mentioned that civil servants under local government employ have backlog of unpaid salaries and allowances. These pending issues, the NLC chairman said was responsible for its recent 21 days ultimatum to the state government.
“It is true that civil servants in core state civil service are not owed monthly salaries, but we still have serious pending issues of allowances, promotion arrears, harmonization of pension, those omitted during the biometric data capturing, salaries of local government workers. If the state government claim they have settled workers up to date, why then are we complaining? Why are we threatening industrial action”. He queried.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, last Friday embarked on a strike action over unpaid salaries and allowances owed council workers. The union decried disparity meted on them by the state government, which they acknowledged has paid state workers and left local government workers in hardship and penury.
A statement by the state Chairman of NULGE and made available to our correspondent, indicates that workers in the unified Local Government Service were yet to be paid promotion arrears from 2006 till date.
“Government still owes the workers arrears of leave grant in three local government areas in 2012, 20 councils in 2013 and the entire 31 councils in 2015. We wish to highlight the non-payment of four months salary arrears of workers in Ikot Ekpene LGA, the outstanding two months in Ikono, Abak, one month in Ini, Uyo, Uruefong Oruko and Onna local government areas. The statement reads.