…Vows to implement ‘no work, no pay’ rule
…To publish salaries paid to workers since inception
From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has described workers currently on strike in the state as ‘political civil servants’ and has vowed that the ‘no work no pay’ rule would apply to curb their excesses.
Governor Bello, who met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors, in Abuja, on Monday, said the state was currently owing August and September salaries as against severally months as was being alleged.
The organised labour, in Kogi State, had embarked on an indefinite strike on September 22, at the expiration of a seven-day strike notice to the state government.
The organised labour had accused the state government of failure to honour the agreement reached with them.
The workers also accused the government of failure to pay salaries and other entitlements as well as witch-hunting the some workers in the state.
The unions had given the state government notice to pay the July 2017 salary and to reverse some of the newly-introduced policies they claimed were not in tandem with the civil service rules.
The workers demanded among other things, “that government should as a matter of urgency, rescind its decision on clocking in and out policy in the public service of the state, which aims at casualising the service on daily pay basis.”
Governor Bello who said he came to brief President Buhari on happenings in his state, said he planned to publish in national dailies all the salaries he had paid to workers to clear the doubts of sections of the people on the issue,.
He said, “Those workers that are on strike are political civil servants, real civil servants are coming to work. We are trying are best to keep up with the payment of salaries. There is no denying the fact that the economy is biting hard everywhere and you will recall that I met four months’ salary backlog, I cleared it and today we are keeping up to date.
“We are owing August and September as we speak. We are up to date in terms of salaries and those that come to work we shall pay them and those that don’t come to work, the no work no pay shall surely apply.”
He continued, “The only thing is that the good people of Kogi state should continue to be patient with this government. Things are hard generally and we are trying our best and that is why we are transparent in everything that we do. I’m sure you are aware of the periodic publishing of our accounts, very soon we are going to publish all the salaries that we have paid to workers since inception in newspapers for people to see it. All the noise about Kogi not paying salaries will be in public domain.”
The governor, who said President Buhari commended his handling of affairs of the state, also said his administration was adopting ways to be ahead of criminals in the state and keep the state secure.
He also rated his state 70 per cent in addressing security challenges.
According to him, “On the scale of 1 to 10 we are 70 per cent, we are doing very well even though the challenges are still there. Security is not what you tackle once and for all, you have to continue to do your best. The criminals, kidnappers, armed robbers, hoodlums will always device various tactics, they may change styles we have to change along with them and be ahead of them at any point in time in order to keep Kogi state secure and Kogi is currently secure.”
Asked if the state would stay quiet politically ahead of the 2019 elections, he said, “Politically Kogi state is very stable. Is just few diaspora politicians that are making noise in the media and I think you can’t stop them from making noise when they want to but the reality on ground is that Kogi State is very very stable.”
For those that say he is not doing well to promote tourism in the state, Bello said, “Is only the blind ones that will not see what we are doing. First of all, before you attract tourists to your state you have to secure it, there must be infrastructure and all these are being taken care of as we speak and investors are coming in in their numbers to come and invests. They are so many expatriates that are coming in now and is not out of place that they see that the state is secured and the potentials are there and we are harnessing all of that.”
On the action being taken to bring to book those who assaulted a journalist in his state, he replied, “You can never rule out overzealousness of some security agencies and any time they try to take laws into their hands, we will deal with it appropriately. I am very sure that those that tried to assault a journalist have been dealt with according to the law.”