The organised labour in Kogi has dared Governor Yahaya Bello to publish names of uncovered 300 ghost workers allegedly planted by senior civil servants in the state’s payroll.
Labour gave the task in a statement by the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Onuh Edoka, and his Trade Union Congress, TUC, counterpart, Ranti Ojo, on Friday in Lokoja.
Labour expressed dismay over the story credited to the state Head of Service, Deborah Ogunmola, on the alleged discovery of the 300 ghost workers and urged government to clear the air by publishing their names.
The statement described the allegation as unfortunate, saying that government conducted a staff verification exercise that lasted for over three years and also organised pay parade for all workers and had their biometric data captured.
The statement, therefore, challenged the Head of Service to publish the names of the ghost workers, their MDAs and the senior civil servants involved in the criminal act.
The labour leaders said government’s statement after the screening indicated that the payment system had been made watertight and only the governor could order the inclusion of names in the payroll.
They wondered how the alleged senior civil servants gained access to the payroll, adding that the identities of those involved must be revealed for the organised labour to take the HoS seriously.
“Until their identities are revealed, the organised labour will view the action of the HoS as a deliberate attempt to rubbish the achievements of the state government on the screening exercise and throw the entire workforce into another round of screening exercise,” they said.
Labour, however, advised the state government not to listen to any advice that could set it at loggerheads with the workers, describing the allegation as “a coup against workers aimed at denying them their minimum wages”.
It also called on the state government to hasten the implementation of the new minimum wage to the workforce as being done in other states.
But they lauded the state government for the prompt payment of workers salaries and urged the local government administrators to emulate it by paying their workers and primary school teachers on time.
Labour also urged the Council Administrators to find ways of improving on the percentages of salaries paid at that level of governance.
The statement reiterated the loyalty of the entire workforce to the state government and expressed optimism that government would reciprocate by according workers welfare priority attention.