What an irony! While other states are battling to pay the backlog of salary arrears for their workers, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has approved the early payment of July salaries to enable workers celebrate the forthcoming Eid-el-Fitr festivities with joy and happiness.
The statement urged the workers to reciprocate government’s gesture by rededicating themselves to the service of the State.
It appealed to them to use the remaining days of Ramadan, and the Sallah period, to pray for the peace, unity, stability and progress of the state and the country as a whole.
It also quoted Governor Tambuwal, wishing all citizens of Sokoto State happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration, in advance.
Meanwhile, Labour movement in Osun state recently rejected half salaries for the month of March approved for primary school teachers and workers in the 30 local councils of the state, including the Area Office at Modakeke-Ife, by the state government.
The workers at a press briefing by the leadership of all unions in the state held at the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) unanimously turned down the payment of half salary, insisting they would accept nothing short of five months’ outstanding salaries from the state government.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola had approved payment of 50 per cent for March salaries of the workers but the workers rejected the salary on an excuse that the money cannot solve their problems.
It was learnt that government negotiation team, led by the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oketola had held a marathon meeting with leaders of the National Union of Local Governments Employees (NULGE) and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) but the negotiation was deadlocked when it became obvious that what the government was ready to pay did not meet the expectation of the workers.
Sources at the meeting told The Street Journal that the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and their counterpart, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) leaders were resolute and refused to accept payment of 50 per cent of their March salary.
The state chairman of NUT, Mr. Wakeel Amuda said “we heard it as a rumour that the government had concluded the plan to pay 50 per cent of March salaries for local government workers and primary school teachers. They must not make the mistake of making part payment because the union will resist it.
They have assured us that they will pay in full.” Asked if primary school teachers and council workers would suspend their strike if the March salaries were paid in full, Amuda said they would not until the government pays all the workers their five months salaries. Efforts to get the reaction of government was futile as the media aide to Aregbesola, Semiu Okanlawon, did pick calls put to his cell phone as at press time.