Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, wednesday proscribed the activities of Joint Action Committee (JAC) Trade Unions of tertiary institutions in the state.
The governor made this known yesterday while addressing journalists at the Lugard House Lokoja.
The governor noted that while government respects the rights of all citizens to responsibly associate and pursue their welfare within the ambits of the constitution, the laws of the state, the rights of other citizens and the general norms of a democratic society, would not allow anybody to hold the state to ransom.
According to him, his government has made tremendous progress in resolving all issues relating to adequacy and frequency of remuneration for all categories of civil servants in the state.
â€œMy government respects the rights of labour unions in relation to the responsibilities of the owners/proprietors of tertiary academic institutions.
â€œThe Kogi State Government is dismayed that in the state-owned tertiary institutions, trade union has lent itself to impeding government efforts to carry out holistic reforms of the civil service in the state through unjust and unjustifiable industrial actions. The governor regretted that the branch of the JAC of trade unions of tertiary institutions owned by the state in Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, has proceeded on yet another strike for alleged non-payment of salaries and emoluments irrespective of clear evidence of government good faith and efforts contradicting JACâ€™s position.
The governor added that there was evidence of massive embezzlement of the Kogi State Polytechnicâ€™s earnings in excess of N157million committed under JACâ€™s nose and government efforts to bring the affected culprits to book is being frustrated by the unions. Bello thereafter directed the management of the institutions to start the process of employing all other categories of staff required by the respective Institutions based on compelling need.
He also directed all law enforcement and security agencies in the state to remain vigilant as usual and be proactive in preventing the breakdown of law and order in any part of the state, whether consequent upon this directive or for any reason whatsoever.
According to the governor, government remains committed to meeting her obligations to all genuine employees as promptly as available resources will permit.
â€œGovernment will work to ensure uninterrupted academic calendar henceforth in all basic education, secondary and tertiary academic institutions in the state.