By Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
The Kogi State Government has called on the leadership of Organised Labour in the state to resist the temptation to be used as political tools to disrupt the development of the state.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi State Governor, Petra Akinti Onyegbule copy which was made available in Lokoja, in response to statement released by the labour leaders.
The government said the allegations of falsehood leveled against the government on the payment of salaries were unfounded and unfortunate.
“The government of Governor Yahaya Bello belongs to all the people of Kogi State. Everyone, whether civil servants or not, deserve equal share of our collective purse. When labour leaders begin to claim that the totality of revenue that accure to the state be used to pay their salaries in full, it calls to question their sense of collective responsibility and understanding of the current feelings of all Nigerians.
“Our government, led by Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has gone over and beyond to ensure that the welfare of all its citizens, government workers inclusive, are catered for.”
This is the sole purpose of its much celebrated Civil Sevice Reforms. It is being carried out to ensure that the majority of Kogites enjoy the funds that hiterto went into very few private pockets. For labour leaders to continue to frame the reforms as a battle against the civil servants is misleading and regrettable.
“The government will always put the interest of civil servants at heart. As a matter of fact, the whole essence of the reforms is to secure the present and future financial security the civil servants. Many workers and pensioners, who had hiterto being short-changed fraudulently, now know exactly how much they are suppose to earn. The non-existent schools that were used to siphon money out of the system are currently no more. The money is being redirected to providing social buffers for our poorer people. These are very few of the many benefits of the reforms.
“To claim that the government has refused to pay full salaries despite having enough funds to do so is both unfounded and unfortunate. We are yet to receive December allocations but we went ahead to pay December wages. We are meeting our financial obligations to contractors and funding partners as well as servicing debts we inherited which runs into hundreds of millions monthly. We will not be blackmailed into burying the state under heavy debts just to satisfy labour leaders that are allowing themselves to be influenced by the political actors.”