Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The organised labour in Kogi State has expressed surprise that the state Head of Service (HoS) Mrs Deborah Ogunmola who was due for retirement two years ago has refused to leave office. Labour wants her to go home and rest
Labour said Inspite of spending the mandatory 35 years in service which elapsed in 2017, the HoS still devised various means to stay in office warning her to leave so as to allow other career civil servants enjoy their elevation.
Labour also expressed dismay over a story credited to her, that she had uncovered 300 ghost workers allegedly planted by senior civil servants in the state, saying it was another ploy to sit tight in office
A statement by the chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Comrade Ranti Ojo described the allegation as unfortunate given the fact that the state government had conducted staff verification exercise that lasted about three years ago.
The statement noted that aside the normal verification exercise that lasted three years, the government also organised pay parade for all workers and had their biometric data captured.
The statement therefore challenged the HoS to publish the names of the ghost workers, their MDAs and the senior civil servants involved in the criminal activities.
The labour leaders said the government’s statements since after the screening indicated that the payment system had been made watertight and only the governor could order the inclusion of any names on the payroll and wondered how senior civil servants could gain access to the payroll again
They said until the identities of those involved are revealed, the organised labour would view the action of the Head of Service as a deliberate attempt to rubbish what the state government had achieved from the screening exercise, thereby throwing the entire workforce into another round of screening exercise again.
The organised labour also accused the Head of Service of finding avenues of perpetuating herself in office having reached her retirement age in service since two years ago.
The statement advised the state government not to listen to any advice that could set it against workers, noting that the Head of Service’s outburst was a coup against workers aimed at denying them their minimum wage.
It called on the state government to hasten the implementation of the minimum wage to the workforce as being done in other states.
They equally praised the government for prompt payment of state workers’ salary and urged the local government administrators to emulate the state government by paying the local government workers and primary school teachers on time and also finding ways to improve on the percentages of the salaries being paid at that level of governance.
The statement reiterated the loyalty of the entire workforce to the state government and expressed the hope that government would reciprocate by giving priorities to workers’ welfare.