From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The socio-economic activities in Kogi State have been grounded following the industrial action carried out by organised labour in the state as a result of the non-payment of their salaries.
Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had on Friday directed workers in the state public service to embark on an indefinite strike from June 27.
On the second day of the strike, commercial banks operating in the state also joined the strike as they shut down businesses in sympathy with the state government workers.
Newsmen who visited some banks in Lokoja, the state capital observed that most banks did not open for business except Zenith Bank and Access Bank where the state government directed some of the workers to open their accounts.
The decision to embark on the sympathy strike, it was learnt was issued by the national secretariat of the NLC.
Many customers who turned out to transact one business or the other were seen turning back in disappointment.
Long queues of customers were also noticed at the ATM points of the banks.
Attempts made to get the state chairman of NLC on the development proved abortive as his telephone was switched off.
It was, however, gathered from a reliable source that the sympathy strike will only last one day and the banks are to resume normal business today.
The state Head of Service, Mrs. Hassanatu Kehinde Lawal who spoke to newsmen on the industrial action condemned the decision of the organised labour to instigate workers to go on strike, adding that the issue of delay in salaries was never caused by the governor or any of his appointees.
She disclosed that the accounts departments of various ministries should be held responsible for the delay in the payment of salaries.
She said schedule for payments to the civil servants have been prepared but the delay to be paid by the bank was the handiwork of some accountants of some Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).
The Head of Service, therefore, appealed to the workers to be patient, stressing that the government was determined to ensure that every worker is paid.