By Obike Ukoh
Abuja – The Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ebonyi Chapter, has appealed to Gov. Dave Umahi to pay local government workers their September 2011 salary which his predecessor refused to pay.
Mr Leonard Nkah, Ebonyi NULGE President, made the appeal on Wednesday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
NAN recalls that former Gov. Martin Elechi in September, 2011, refused to pay workers who did not report for duty during a state-wide strike embarked upon by organised labour.
Nkah said that during a recent visit to Umahi at Government House, Abakaliki, the NULGE leadership enumerated numerous problems confronting local government workers.
He said that among the problems was the non-payment of the September, 2011 salary which Elechi denied workers that complied with labour’s directive to stay at home.
Nkah said Umahi promised to pay the salary.
He said that NULGE leadership also drew the attention of the governor to late payment of local government workers’ monthly salary.
“Teachers and state workers are paid much earlier than LG workers; it is from LG allocation that teachers are paid.
“ This development poses psychological problem to local government workers,’’ Nkah noted.
He said that the governor also promised to look into the perennial problems of associated with payment of pensions and gratuities and thanked him for setting up a committee to look into the matter.
Nkah also appeal to the governor to make the five per cent salary increase annual.
NAN recalls that during the Independence Day celebration, the governor announced five per cent salary increase for workers.
Nkah said that the governor’s gesture boosted the morale of workers and should be sustained.
He said that the union now operated from its ultra-modern secretariat, which was self-funded and constructed under his administration.
“ The union intends to go into other ventures, such as mass transit schemes, agro/ hospitality ventures.’’
Nkah explained that the union was venturing into the projects in order to boost its revenue base.