Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
The Ogun State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has debunked claims that the outgoing administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun does not owe both the civil and public servants in the state.
While briefing journalists to clear the air on the true state of debts the outgoing administration owes the workers in Abeokuta yesterday, the state Chairman of NLC, Emmanuel Bankole, described such claim as false.
According to Bankole, “This press conference was called to state in clear terms the magnitude of indebtedness of outgoing administration of Amosun to the public servants in the state and “also to correct the erroneous impression and falsehood being peddled around that the outgoing government does not owe public servants in the state.
“We have waited for so long hoping that the state governor will keep to his promise and settle all outstanding arrears of gratuity, pensions, salary arrears, leave bonuses, contributory pension deductions, cooperative deductions, check-off dues of unions and monthly subventions to tertiary institutions in the state, but now, it has become obvious that those promises cannot be fulfilled.
“Consequently, we are constrained at this point in time to let the whole world know the true position of things. While it is true that some payments were made to workers in the core civil service, a large number of our members in the local government and tertiary institutions were not paid a dime.”
Besides, he said the “discomfort, pain and irreparable damages the outgoing administration has inflicted on the public servants and their families in the state are unbearable.
“Some homes have been broken, lives have been lost to common ailments due to lack of money for medications and treatment; wards and children admission to higher institution lost, personal project abandoned, professional training and development programme abandoned and predisposition of workers to many embarrassing situations making many chronic debtors as a result of non-payment of salaries and other entitlements due to them.
“Your excellency Governor Amosun, when you came to solicit for our votes eight and also four years ago, you promised us better life and prosperity, but what we see today is opposite of all that you have promised us.
“We imbibed your ‘mission to rebuild agenda’, and little did we know that your infrastructural programme was to be executed at the expense of the comfort and well-being of our families.
“Though we are helpless today and the excruciating pains and deep scars will take time to soothe, we leave you to God and your conscience.
“Permit me also to add that since government is a continuum, it becomes imperative for the incoming government to be aware of the enormity of the challenges on ground and prepare adequately to resolve them,” Bankole lamented.