… ‘We are happy with Borno Govt- NLC chair
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum on Monday met with labour leaders after which he revealed that he was considering government pardon for some categories of workers who have spent years in the civil service before they were identified with various irregularities during verification exercises.
Zulum said the pardon was to cushion the effects of economic difficulties being faced by citizens across the state, which he said was biting harder on families of persons either on suspension, without jobs or at the risk of losing jobs.
The governor had a closed door meeting with representatives of labour affiliates led by chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, in Borno State, Comrade Yusuf Inuwa, at the Council Chamber of the Government House in Maiduguri.
The meeting was also attended by the acting Head of Service, Barrister Mallum Fannami.
While responding to questions he was asked by journalists, Zulum gave highlights of the closed door meeting.
“Generally, the labour union came to appreciate the government of Borno State for some of our activities concerning workers, particularly on the implementation of promotional benefits. All those officers that were promoted from 2016 to 2018 have received their promotional benefits.
“However, we have those that were inadvertently omitted. I have given a directive that all those that were omitted should be paid this month. We have paid workers promoted in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and then government will look into the possibility of paying promotional benefits for those promoted in 2019, and 2020, insha’Allah,” Zulum said.
When asked by journalists on the fates of workers fingered by verification committees for different offenses such as fake employment letters, fake certificates and other documents et cetera, Governor Zulum had this to say:
“As you know, I have since set up a committee to review the fates of all workers with issues. The committee under the SSG is working hard to submit a report to me soonest. We have workers that were erroneously affected by the exercise and insha’Allah we are ever ready to correct all the anomalies and ensure that those that were wrongly affected are cleared for them to continue their work.
” And even for those that have committed some offenses, we are all human beings, and we all know that times are very hard now even for people who have jobs and get paid not to talk of those with issues at work. Insha’Allah, we will consider pardoning many with some categories of offenses. If someone has worked for 20 years or 30 years, we should listen to him or her and help. No one is beyond offenses”, Zulum said.
Responding, the Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, in Borno State, Comrade Yusuf Inuwa said labour was happy with payment of promotional benefits outstanding since 2016, the governor’s compassionate decision to pardon erring workers, his regular payment of salaries, pensions and outstanding gratuities, allocation of houses to some workers and lots more.
Inuwa however noted that they raised issues of minimum wage for local government workers to start benefiting which Zulum has since been implementing for workers at the state level.
The governor had in response promised resolving the issues of minimum wage at the LG levels soon as committee in place completes its task of identifying the actual number of valid workers, and ascertaining the genuine cost of implementing the minimum wage because at the moment, there is no credible pathway to be relied upon for the implementation.