Workers boycott May Day Rally in Kwara


Abdulfatah Ahmed

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state.

Local Council workers under the aegis of National Union of Local Governments’ Employees (NULGE), on Monday boycotted Workers’ Day rally in Ilorin over non-payment of salary and pension.

The Secretary of the union, Comrade Hobonu Rafiu said the union refused to mobilise its members due to paucity of fund resulting from non-payment of nine months’ salary in the state.

Rafiu urged the state to tailor the next tranche of London Paris loan repayment to the settle the backlogs of salaries of local government workers.

A branch chairman of the union, who preferred anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that the Workers’ Day celebration was like a mourning day for council​ workers in the state.

Meanwhile, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed in his address at the rally said he was pained by the plight of workers and pensioners at the local governments.

Ahmed, who was represented by the state Head of Service, Mrs Zahra Omar, blamed it on drop in the allocation from the federation account.

The governor called for a special intervention from the federal government to the local councils to clear the arrears of salary backlogs of the local government workers.

He said that the state had in the past augmented the allocation due to the councils in the state and would channel its share of the London Paris Loan repayment to settle the backlogs.

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“Since inception of our administration, our policies have been geared towards placing the state on the path of sustainable progress”, he said.

Comrade Abdulyekeen Agunbiade, the state chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), urged the state government to implement their demands.

The demands, he said included weigh-in allowance for workers in the media and cultural sectors, payment of 2017 annual increment, local government autonomy and payment of 50 percent COHESS for health workers in the state among others.

The NLC boss also sought for an immediate review of the national medium wage in the face of national economic crisis.

Comrade Kolawole Olumoh, the chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), in the state called for the eradication of corruption, injustice and inequality in the scheme of things for the country to move forward.

He explained that there could not be an egalitarian society where there was no sincere effort to resolve these social ills.

The rally, which witnessed a low turnout of workers started late as a result of a heavy rain in Ilorin and other parts of the state.

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