By Yemi Adeleye/Florence Onuegbu
Lagos – Hundreds of workers under of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) of the Lagos State Government on Monday, staged a protest at the office of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode.
The workers, who chanted solidarity songs and displayed banners with different inscriptions said that they are being owed salaries for July and Aug. 2018.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that inscribed on some of the placards carried by the protesting workers were: “Visionscape and Environment and others, “Don’t make life difficult for us’’, “Accumulation of salary.“
“We don’t want deduction of salary’’,“Don’t politicise our lives’’, “Governor should know sweepers are also voters,’’ among others.
The workers complained that there were discrepancies in their salaries, adding that they had not been given identity cards and employment letters.
One of the protesters, Mrs Salau Ologun, said that their employer was making life difficult for them.
She accused the government of being insensitive to their plight, adding that they could not continue to suffer in silence.
Addressing the protesters, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Environment, Mr Abiodun Bamgboye, told the protesters that their July and August salaries were ready.
Bamgboye said that government took the project from the company that was handling it and had been trying to put things in order, adding that, that was why things had not taken proper shape.
“We were able to clear the salaries from January to June. It is true we owe July and August but we have got approval for the payment.
“We are trying to audit the staff and the accounts and ensure that we are not paying ghost workers.
“There are some anomalies in the system.
“Your normal salary is N18, 500 per month. Whoever collects less than that should lodge a complaint and attach his or her payment slip, if the person has been reporting for work regularly.
“We don’t want to send your money through intermediaries, which is why we pay you through banks,’’ he said.
The permanent secretary assured the workers that their identity cards, letters of employment, and other conditions of engagement would soon be ready.
On the staff that lost her life, Bamgboye said that the ministry rose to the occasion as soon as the person was hit by a vehicle, adding that she was taken to the Lagos General Hospital, where she was rejected.
He also said that the victim was later taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), but was told that there was no space.
The permanent secretary said that the victim died before they got to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
“We will visit the family of the deceased and do the necessary things. We have provided safety devices for you, but some drivers are drunk while some are careless.
“We have insured your lives and our government is ready to compensate the family of whoever loses his or her life on the job.’’