Gov. Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has approved the payment of the shortfalls of October and November 2016 salaries of workers and other demands of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
Al-Makura gave the approval when he met with the embattled Chairman of the union in the state, Mr Abdullahi Adeka and his team at the Government House in Lafia on Thursday.
According to Al-Makura, the approval of the demands of the NLC is to strengthen the relationship between government and the labour union and prove to them that the current administration prioritises the welfare of workers.
He said cordial relationship was necessary for a better understanding between both parties.
He assured that the administration was committed to workers’ welfare and ensure they carried out their duties in a conducive environment.
“This government under my leadership has come a long way with labour. We have been partners in progress. We have always been together.
“I am so happy that we have now resolved to work together for the development and progress of the people of Nasarawa state”, he said.
Al-Makura added that apart from the payment of the shortfalls of October and November salaries which will be paid before the end of the month, government had also approved the commencement of promotion of workers.
“I have approved the commencement of interview for promotion of all cadres of workers. The office of Head of Service has packaged a team that will commence the promotion interviews.
“I have also directed that the Head of Service should commence the process of the payment of the shortfalls of the October and November salaries by the end of this month”, he added.
The governor also said his administration converted 191 casual staff to permanent and pensionable staff and offered employment to 4,500 youths into the Nasarawa state Youth Empowerment Scheme (NAYES) from 2016 to 2017.
Al-Makura assured the workers that his administration had released more than N300 million for payment of pension arrears, saying he would also pay attention to local government workers welfare and emoluments.
He thanked the union for suspending its strike to allow for a constructive dialogue between government and labour to take place.
“When the idea of strike comes, what really shakes me as governor is not whether the offices are open or closed but what happens to people that require our services to survive.
“It is devastating for a state to go on strike. As far as I am concerned, there is no strike in Nasarawa state”, he said.
Mr Abdullahi Adeka, the embattled Chairman of the NLC, said the aim of the union’s visit was to intimate the governor of their support for his policies toward improving the welfare of workers and appealed for more support.
According to him, NLC called off the strike considering the plight of the ordinary citizens of the state and the state government’s willingness to improve workers’ welfare.
“We are here to appreciate everything you are doing in this state and to give you the most needed support and loyalty at this critical point in time. We are ready to partner with you throughout the remaining of your tenure in office”, he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that organised labour in the state had embarked on an indefinite strike from May 12 to demand payment of salaries and other entitlements.
A faction had removed Adeka as NLC chairman over alleged fraternity with the state government to the detriment of workers.
The faction replaced Adeka with the vice-chairman, Mr Bala Umar.
Adeka, however, refused to relinquish the position, insisting that he was the legitimate chairman of NLC in the state.
According to him, it was illegal to remove him from office in his absence.
“Only the national secretariat of the union can remove me from office.’’