Kogi State civil servants in Lokoja, on Wednesday took to the banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATM) celebrating the clearance of their salary backlogs by the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Kogi State Government had promised to clear the backlog salaries of all the genuine workers and pensioners in the state by 20 December
NAN Correspondent who monitored the development noted that banks premises and ATMs in Lokoja metropolis, were crowded with civil servants waiting patiently with excitement for their turn to get cash withdrawals.
Some of them, who spoke to NAN in separate interviews, expressed gratitude to the governor for fulfilling his promise to clear their backlog salaries.
Mr Al-Hassan Jimoh, a staff of Kogi Ministry of Information, told NAN that he was very happy that he got 9 months’ salary alert today.
“In spite all the hardships, I believed in Gov. Bello, because I was convinced that he is doing the right thing.”
A level 12 officer, Kogi Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Monday Eleshin, told NAN that he received alert for 10 months’ salary backlogs on Tuesday.
“This government has really tried through the screening because some people were collecting up to 30 persons salaries which is what they are investigating. I am grateful to our governor.” Mrs Kemi Dada, a Sanitation Board official, said though the screening exercise was painful for a while but it has finally yielded positive results.
“We thank Gov. Yahaya Bello, for his commitment to making good his promises by paying all genuine workers in the state; my salary has been paid upto Dec. 2016.”
However, some local government workers and pensioners in the state told NAN that they were to received any payment alert.
Munirat Oju, a staff of Lokoja local government, said she has not been paid since February even when her name had been cleared during the screening since August.
She urged the state government to prevail on the local government Administrators to clear the backlog salaries of all the genuine workers at the local government level.
A Pensioner, Mr Usman Jimoh, told NAN that he has not been paid for 12 months in spite of his clearance during the screening and verification exercise.
Jimoh, who is a retired Permanent Secretary, said he retired in active service as required by law in July 2016, after 35 years of active service but has never, received any pension till date.
“The government owes me 12 months’ salary backlogs; 7 months’ salary in active service from Jan. to July and 5 months pensions from Aug. to Dec. 2016. I have been living by people’s help.
“Though the government is doing a good job to clear the mess in the civil services, but a lot of people have suffered unnecessarily in this case.
“If you are looking for ghost workers, I do not think the permanent secretaries should be the target; it is unfair, we are suffering unnecessarily.”
Isaac Adeleye, another pensioner, said the last pension he received was in February 2016 in spite of fact that he was screened thrice.
“I do not think any genuine civil servant and pensioner should be deprived of their entitlement because it is our sweat.” (NAN)
•Photo shows Governor Yahaya Bello.