The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, has carpeted the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) National President over comments made concerning the status of workers salaries in Kogi State.
Addressing a group of pressmen in Lokoja this morning in his office, Fanwo said the inability of the NLC President to find out the facts before making those “uncharitable” statements underscores the “inability of the factional leader of the NLC to win the confidence of majority of Nigerian workers.”
“Our attention has been drawn to the reckless and tactless statement by the national leadership of the NLC, describing Kogi State as one of the labour unfriendly states in the country. He was definitely not referring to Kogi State.
“It is only the national leadership of NLC who understands the parameters used in arriving at such a fallacious and imbecile conclusion. The administration of Alh. Yahaya Bello has paid six months salaries, less than six months into his administration. Is that how to be labour unfriendly?
“When the administration came on board, it was discovered that Kogi State was paying thousands of ghost workers, who are contributing no labour to the economy of the State. Government met with labour to harp on the need for a holistic staff verification exercise. Labour had their representatives in the screening committee.
“At some point, the leadership of the NLC expressed dissatisfaction in the manner the erstwhile chairman of the panel was handling the exercise. They demanded for his removal, which government graciously granted to show its respect to the labour community. Is that a way be unfriendly to labour?
“As far as government is concerned, the screening committee has been highly successful. Wabba should ask Kogi labour leaders what they are hiding. Government is in possession of facts on how labour leaders wanted to sabotage payment of bailout and how they were begging to left off the hook by the Screening Committee after their glaringly established maleficence. Has Wabba asked labour leaders why they submitted statements of account from a microfinance bank to hide away the tens of millions in their commercial bank accounts?
“The landmark failure of the industrial action called by labour was as a result of the lack of confidence in labour leaders who are almost as rich as the State; and the confidence workers have in the Governor Yahaya Bello administration. Workers have been reporting to work everyday. They said they can’t stay at home after the Governor has paid them salary arrears ranging from three to four months. This is excellent patriotism.
“Jolted by the failure of the strike, Kogi labour brought in their uninformed godfathers from Abuja to save face. Again, their misrepresentation of facts has collapsed like a pack of cards.
“Governor Yahaya Bello needs no reminding by Wabba before he will do what he is elected to do for the Kogi people. He has recently put smiles on the faces of pensioners by paying four months pension arrears to them. He won’t be intimidated by leaders who are still struggling for legitimacy. He is committed to the welfare of Kogi people and come Monday July 25, 2016, the full report of the screening exercise will be laid before the Kogi people. The Governor has already directed that the program be covered live on local and national broadcast stations. He is transparent and committed. Government has never said their were no issues with some people accessing their salaries. But such issues are being handled by the authorities concerned.
“No one should test the will of this administration to right the wrong of the past. The New Direction Agenda has been possessed by the people and will serve the Kogi people.”
Fanwo thanked the leaders and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Kogi State University chapter for their “coming to the light after weeks of disagreement.” He said the union took a patriotic step by calling off the strike, pledging government commitment to their welfare.
He said the agricultural policies of the present administration will make the State the food hub of Nigeria, hailing the self-declaration of the Governor as the Chief Farmer of Kogi State.
“Government is determined to reposition agriculture as the oil of Kogi State. The New Direction policy on agriculture will start yielding practical steps in the coming weeks and the people will love the initiative that will make Kogi State the best food producing state in Nigeria.
“The Governor has declared himself as the Chief Farmer of the State and mandated all his appointees to own farms. He said the agricultural revolution must start from him. The Board of Internal Revenue has also perfected a plan to go digital and ensure Kogi can match the technology Lagos is deploying to generate revenue.”