The Kogi State Government has said its decision to publish details of salaries paid to each public servant since the inception of the present administration in the state on January 27, 2016 was to “silence the falsehood of nonpayment of salaries peddled against the present administration in the state.”
Addressing newsmen in Lokoja Wednesday, the Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said the Governor is not owing workers “who have been verified to be genuine and consequently cleared,” saying the outcry over nonpayment was coming from “fraudulent beneficiaries of the ghost workers syndrome who have been cut off the system.”
The Governor’s spokesman said the Governor did not only clear the arrears it met at inception, but has been up to date with salaries.
He said, “It is unfortunate that mischief makers have been brandishing fake news about Kogi State as regards payment of salaries. Kogi State Government has paid up to March 2017. Those we are owing now are those who recently scaled the hurdle of appeals made possible by the Governor. The Governor just received the report two days ago and efforts are in top gear to pay those who have just been cleared.
“We have given our reports to the public. Kogi expended over 41 billion naira on salaries between January 2016 and March 2017. We have published all our payments to civil servants on our website, Kogistate.gov.ng. We won’t be bothered by blackmail because we know where they are coming from.”
The Governor’s spokesman said the civil service reforms in the state will see the light of the day for the benefits of the people, the civil servants and the government.
“We are looking beyond the screening exercise. We are looking at a holistic reform of the civil service to ensure efficiency. Database will be built to guide against the poor documentation in the service. The clock-in and clock-out system will be installed to ensure those who are paid to do government jobs actually do the jobs for which they are paid. Kogi State will be better after this exercise.”
On the allegations of students brutalizations and non-payment of salaries leveled against the government by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, Fanwo said it is imperative for the labor leader to seek for facts from all stakeholders before making “sweeping statements” against the state.
“The position of the NLC National President is exalted and revered. Whatever comes out of that office must be credible and reliable. Nigerians want to be able to take his statements as verified facts. The Government of Kogi State respects the person and position of Mr. Wabba. But, we wish to advise him to stop misleading the Nigerian about Kogi where he seems to have a vested interest.
“We do not want to rock the boat as regards our ongoing negotiations with labour. We are hopeful of a fruitful outcome. Government has continued to pay subventions to the school and also salaries to the lecturers. We have also met a major demand of theirs to constitute Governing Councils for our tertiary institutions. The screening report is out and government is making informed decisions.
“Government didn’t close the schools but the unions were the ones who embarked on an industrial actions. At the end of the day, our institutions will be better positioned. The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Edward Onoja, is coordinating a robust engagement with the unions and we are pretty sure they will call off the strike soon.
“Students should continue to be law abiding. This government will never leave the students in the lurch. The Governor is a young man, who will continue to help young people to aspire to greatness. Government didn’t order the arrest of anyone. Kogi State is fighting criminality and we want to protect our students from the possibility of criminals hiding behind the protests to foment troubles.
“We urge our students to remain steadfast as government strive to redress the systemic decadence of our tertiary institutions over the years. We shall get there.”