The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has issued a one week ultimatum to Bauchi State Government to address the anomalies that left no fewer than 10,000 workers without salary.
It said that if the government failed to address the issue within the period, the union will not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the state NLC Chairman, Danjuma Saleh and made available to newsmen in Bauchi on Monday.
According to him, no fewer than 10,000 workers in seven ministries and pararstatals were unable to access their July salaries.
He said that the NLC viewed the situation as an “attempt to retrench workers systematically.”
Mr Saleh added that 116 workers of Toro and Bogoro local government areas were also denied April salaries in spite of several appeals from the union, while hazard allowance of some essential staffs of the state water board and Gubi Dam were removed without recourse to existing circulars.
The chairman said that the NLC has lost confidence on the consulting firm engaged by the state government to handle workers’ salaries, even though the state has capable hands to handle that.
He said that the NLC was also demanding for immediate resolution of all pending cases affecting Head of Schools, Education Secretaries and Local Government Treasurers.
When contacted, Sanda Adamu, the state Commissioner of Finance, denied that 10,000 workers had not been paid salaries, saying only 350 workers were not paid their June and July salaries due to inconsistencies with their bio data and records of service.
He also said some of those affected have issues with their Bank Verification Numbers, BVN, change of place of work, inaccurate data on birth, and collection of double salaries and other sharp practices.
The commissioner assured that their salaries had been warehoused pending proper investigation, after which those cleared would be paid.
Mr Adamu said that there was no going back on the engagement of the consulting firm, saying it was brought in to sanitize and cleanse the state payroll system.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state chapter of Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals, recently called off a one day industrial action over salary issues.