The Nasarawa State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has decried the “unnecessary delays” in the payment of salaries to civil servants in the state.
The NLC also expressed disgust that no worker had been promoted “in the last six years”.
Mr Abdullahi Adeka, NLC Chairman in the state, voiced the workers’ concerns at the 4th Quadrennial State Delegates Conference of Nasarawa State Chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servant of Nigeria (ASCSN), in Lafia.
The NLC Chairman, who was represented by Yusuf Sarki-Iya, the Treasurer, said that such delays had subjected workers to lots of hardship.
“The situation is appalling; government will just deliberately delay salaries for up to four months before they pay for one month.
“Another issue of concern is that no worker in Nasarawa State has been promoted in the last six years.
“Also, no worker has been given annual increment and there has been no attention to staff development in terms of training, in the last six years,” he added.
He said that government was killing the civil service by categorising it into two – senior and junior civil servants – and explained that stagnation had stalled carrier progression, created a vacuum and wiped out the middle cadre.
Adeka regretted that outstanding salaries, pensions and gratuities had not been paid in spite of the Paris Club Refund that came with a categorical instruction that the payments be effected.
“Government recently released N300 million for the payment of gratuity of some retirees, but the money is grossly insufficient and certainly not up to half of the Paris Club Refund,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Gabriel Agbashi of the Trade Union Congress, rejected suggestions that Nasarawa was poor and lacked sufficient money to meet its obligations.
“The only problem in Nasarawa State is that government does not consider workers’ welfare as its priority. We work in this state and have all records on how much is in the coffers of the state,” he said.
He urged government to pay salaries promptly and also promote civil servants to avoid stagnation that had lowered morale.
Responding, Mr Thomas Ogiri, Nasarawa State Head of Service, urged patience from the workers.
“Government is working hard to improve workers’ welfare. The workers should just exercise some patience,” he said.
He said that government had always carried NLC leaders along, saying that all actions were usually based on agreement reached with labour. (NAN)