Public workers in some Nigerian states are having a tough time as their salaries remain unpaid
They shared their plight to newsmen on Tuesday, May 26,2015 just as the organised labour union has formally declared an indefinite strike over the issue of unpaid salaries.
The strike embarked upon by civil servants in Oyo and Osun states has also paralysed governmental activities in the states. Public teachers have stayed away from the schools while public offices including government secretariats were closed.
Cross River’s state workers said the situation had forced them to resort to begging owners of private schools to give them time to pay their children’s school fees.
According to a worker in one of the ministries, Mr. John Umo, : “For those of us living in rented apartments, we now run away from our landlords since our rents are due to avoid public disgrace. Our colleagues who have managed to own their homes are lucky.”
Another worker, Mrs. Clara Adah, said, “We now borrow to survive. We cannot pay school fees of our wards. We now beg proprietors or proprietress of private school, to allow our children attend school on credit or pay in installments.
Governor Liyel Imoke had, during the May 1 Workers’ Day rally, promised that his administration would commence the payment of the March salaries on or before May 5, and subsequently defray others before handing over on May 29.
But the labour union said in spite of this assurances, workers’ salaries have still not been paid.
Osogbo, the Osun State capital, is not left out as workers in the employment of Osun State Government on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 also obeyed the strike order by the labour unions in the state.
Osun government offices were thus shut up and there were no sign of business in many of them. The state Government Secretariat at Abere was deserted while students of public schools who had gone to schools were seen returning home as early as around 9.30am.
The situation was also the same in Oyo State. The state government however called on its striking civil servants to demonstrate greater understanding of the situation which has affected the prompt payment of salaries, and urged the workers to call off their strike.
The state’s Head of Service, Mr. Soji Eniade, who made the call while addressing newsmen in his office in Ibadan, urged the workers to resume work to allow for further negotiations to be made between labour and government.