From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Organised labour in Kebbi State has demanded that the government should pay up the gratuities of workers’2020 leave grants,as well provide standard insurance scheme for them.
Union members, Kebbi Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and other stakeholders, converged at the presidential banquet hall, Birnin Kebbi, to mark this year worker’s day in a low key due to COVID-19 pandemic.
While addressing the audience, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Umar Halidu Alhassan, presented the union’s demands to the governor.
He requested that the immediate payments of gratuities to the retired civil servants in the state, payments of 2020 leave grants to both state, local governments and LGEAS in the state.
The union also demand a functional health insurance cover for all workers in the state through the contributory health insurance scheme (KECHEMA) which is yet to fully take off in the state.
Alhassan noted that healthcare providers are being exposed to COVID-19 in the course of their duties, and urged the state government to pay them their hazard allowances.
Umar used the occasion to condole the state government over the unwarranted killing of DPO, local vigilantes and civilians in Sakaba.
In his remarks, Governor Bagudu, who thanked the organised labour for their patience and understanding, explained that, since he became the governor, he had maintained a very good relationship with the organised labour.
Govern ornonBagudu explained that the NLC are aware of the burden of gratuities his government inherited and how far they have gone in trying to clear the debts.
He explained that despite the dwindling resources, state government still pays salaries regularly, runs the government affairs, put in some infrastructure in the state, directed the union to liaise with the ministry of finance for a way out.
On the 2020 leave grants, he told workers that the state cannot afford to pay but asked NLC to meet with SSG and head of service to fine tune on how best to assist workers.