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NLC berates BudgIT for categorising Nasarawa among states owing salaries

From Esther Akaa, Lafia 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nasarawa  State chapter  has berated BudgIT over its  report entitled: “2022 Subnational Salary Survey,” published in a national daily and online platforms categorising  Nasarawa among states owing  workers salary for six months and above. 

The Voice reports that BudgIT, a civil organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement in its report that has now gone viral, listed the state among eight (8) states in the country in arrears of salaries of about six months.

Debunking the report at a press conference on Monday in Lafia,  the NLC Chairman in state, Comrade Yusuf Iya, described the report as false, fallacy, malicious, concocted and baseless.

According to him, since the inception of the administration of Governor Abdullahi Sule, both state and local government workers, including retirees have never been in arrears of even a month salary.

“It should be noted that when Engr Abdullahi Sule came on board as governor, he met the local government staff and retirees receiving salaries/wages in percentage and stopped that practice immediately.

“Similarly, His Excellency the Governor, inherited a salary liability which has
been hanging since 2016, amounting to N720,000,000.00, he graciously granted approval for the payment and it was paid.

“Not only that, His Excellency Engr Abdullahi A. Sule approved the implementation of pending promotion which has been hanging for over 14 years with a  financial implementation of N216,000,000, thereby adding the sum to the state wage bill till date and he has never refused to pay for any month,” he maintained.

Iya, further stated that the document published as a result of a survey carried out lacks professional inputs, stating that a qualified survey must present both primary and secondary data as no worker in the state was interviewed by the organisation.

He, therefore, called on all Nigerians to disregard the report, which he said was aimed at causing confusion and political disorder in state.

Similarly, the state government has said that it was not owing its workers a single month’s salary as alleged by the “2022
subnational Salary Survey” recently conducted by BudgIT.

A statement issued on Monday  by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Ibrahim Addra said the report was untrue, unjust and unfair, describing it as a rude shock to the state.

The statement maintained that the report was misleading and has dented the image of the organisation and reduced its credibility quotient.

He said: “Going by its past reputation we had hoped BudgIT would deny the report or come out to admit errors in its data collection and make amends.

“Days after the report BudgIT has not done so. The Nasarawa state government is therefore, left with no option but to lay bare this fallacy by BudgIT.

“Such matters of workers salary are not issues that can be concealed or left to some unverified data. The workers in Nasarawa can speak for themselves in this regard and have done so at different times.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Nasarawa State government under the stewardship of Engr Abdullahi Sule has never and does not owe a single month of salary.

“Nasarawa has paid salaries up to July of 2022 and in full. It is therefore curious, worrisome and in bad taste that such lies are allowed to remain in the public domain.

“We challenge BudgIT to come to the state and speak with the workers themselves and the Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress TUC, or any other labour unions.”

He, therefore, urged BudgIT to admit that it had goofed and come out with a categorical statement and apology regarding the status of salary payment in the state.

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