Paul Orude Bauchi
The Nigeria Labour Congress, Bauchi State Chapter has given the Bauchi State Government a one week ultimatum to resolve the problems of pending workers’ salaries and other entitlements.
The Chairman of NLC, Comrade Danjuma Saleh gave the ultimatum on Monday, during a press conference, held at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Teachers in Bauchi.
He warned that the union may take a line of action that will not guarantee industrial harmony in the state if the issues were not addressed..
Saleh said that the union after a meeting of the State Administrative Council (SAC), resolved to draw the attention of the government to the myriads of complaints received by the council on the indiscriminate payment of workers monthly salaries.
Other problems Saleh highlighted are removal of large number of workers from the payroll, cutting of huge portion of some categories of staff allowances for the month of June and July 2020, especially those in the health sector.
He said that several efforts were made officially for the authorities to restore the salaries of omitted staff and allowances, some of which are over six months, but all fell on deaf ears.
He disclosed that over 10, 000 workers could not access their July salaries which the union alleged was an attempt to retrench workers in the state.
He said the Union reviewed the activities of DYNATECH SYSTEM SOLUTION consulting firm since thier engagement to handle the issues of salaries and payroll in the state and conclude that they lack the capacity to undertake the job.
“We are fully aware that thier job could be effectively handled by trained staff within the state service. It, therefore, amounts to waste of resources to engage another unqualified firm to handle same issue while experienced workers are made to remain redundant” he said
However, responding to the allegation of the NLC, the Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Umaru Sanda Adamu, explained that the firm engaged to carry out Reformation of the payroll and nominal roll of the state government was competent and doing a good job.some salaries were not paid because there were several fraudulent activities that the administration was trying to addressed.
Adamu said committees set up by the state government uncovered a lot of sharp practices among ministries and departments where hug chunk or government money was being diverted into private pockets hence the need to address the ugly situation.
The commissioner said those who had been benefitting from these fraudulent acts would not want to see it end.
“We will not for once deny any worker his or her legitimate salary without any reduction. Whosoever is collecting salary illegally are the ones complaining and we are trying to block such leakages,” he said.
He denied the allegation that the state government was trying to reduce the number of workers in the state, instead pointing out that the administration embarked on sanitizing the payroll and nominal roll of government after identifying certain anomalies
“Salaries of some workers were not paid or were delayed because there were several issues with the payroll and nominal roll. For instance, some workers do no not have date of birth, some have changed places of work but were still on active service and so on, but still receive salaries, some have changed their place of placement some were having issues with missing vital data such as BVN, date of appointment, some have deceased accounts, some have absconded, some were collecting pension but not on active service, those number of people wherever we find such anomalies we stop their salary until genuine reason are given, Some were unscrupulous civil servants were collecting several salaries,” he said
In his own remark, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Bauchi State on Civil Civil Matter, Mr Andon Gin, expressed surprise that the unions were blaming government for non payment of salaries of some workers.
Gin explained that NLC was in the picture of the current reforms being carried out by the administration to sanitise the payroll system.
“We have enjoyed a robust relationship with the workers and the labour unions in the state. We have been in discussion with them. There is a mutual relationship with the union and a good one that would allow us to come under one roof to clarfy this issues. This government came with the commitment to salvage the nominal and roll, When it came it, it established two committees of which the unuions and MDAs were carried along,” he said