RECENTLY Plateau state governor,
Simon Lalong was given a resounding
welcome at the Rwang Pam Staduim
during the May Day for workers’ day
celebration in Plateau State. Most civil
servants in the state who spoke to our
correspodent said they are comfortable
with the way the governor was paying
their salaries promptly.
Lazarus John, a civil servant who spoke
to our correspodent at the Rwang Pam
Stadium, the venue of the event, said since
Gov Lalong came on board, he has been
treating the civil servants well. “He also
has done well in clearing the backlog of
salaries owed us by the immediate past
administration”.
Another civil servant who gave his
name as Loknan Farmwa, said “since the
governor came on board in May 29th 2015,
he has done extremely well concerning
the welfare of civil servants in the state.
Lalong has done well in taking the welfare
of civil servants seriously”, he added.
Plateau state could be described as a
civil service state because majority of civil
servants of the state work in the state or
local government areas of the state. Our
correspodent also reports that in Plateau,
business moves when civil servants are
paid their salaries.
It is a general believe that for any
government to achieve meaningful
governance through effective
implementation of policies and
programmes, the issue of civil servants’
welfare should be given top priority.
Recently the Plateau state chapter of
the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)
commended the state governor for clearing
the backlog of salaries and pensions been
owned civil servants and pensioners in the
state by the past administration. The NLC
chairman in Plateau state Comrade Jibrin
Banchir, stated this while addressing
newsmen in Jos, the state capital.
According to him “Labour in the past
administration suffered lack of salaries,
promotions, pension and gratuity
amongst other issues. The relationship
between labour and government in the
past administration in Plateau came to its
lowest due to lack of understanding, or
better still deliberate government policy to
frustrate labour and its affiliates; however,
labour was resolute in defending not only
the cause of the down trodden but its
constituent the workers of Plateau state.
“As a union, we also hail governor
Lalong for setting of committees to
look into other pending issues with
the aim of resolving same. In other to
consolidate on these achievements, NLC
is encouraging government to fast track
the implementation of other outstanding
issues and agreements.”
The NLC also appealed to the state
government to continue with its efforts in
the sustenance of payment of salaries and
pension , in order to consolidate on the gains
made so far in the state , and also consider
the payment of accumulated gratuity to
retirees to alleviate their hardship and boost
the economy. “Government should give
approval and commence the housing scheme
promised civil servants by providing land
and infrastructure to reduce the shelter need
of the work force and reconstitute all service
commissions to facilitate the completion of
all pending service matters “ Bancir also
called on workers in the state to put in
their best to complement governor Lalong’s
efforts by being productive as NLC would
not support truancy and corruption. “We
call on civil servants in the state to support
the Simon Lalong led administration as it
has proven to be workers friendly.”
Another civil servant in Plateau who gave
his name as Martha Alar recently said “we
must commend Governor Lalong for his
efforts at clearing salaries in the state. We the
civil servants in the state now prefer to call
him( Governor Bank Alert) because whatever
he promises to do he does, especially when it
comes to payment of salaries. The payment
of salaries is already having positive impact
on the state”.
Speaking at this years workers day
Lalong, said “I am sincerely honoured
to address you today, on this year’s May
Day celebration which is being observed
worldwide. History records the relevance
of this occasion, which began with the
legitimate agitation of workers for shorter
work hours that unfortunately ended
with the sad loss of lives in 1886, during
the Haymarket massacre in Chicago, USA
where police fired at demonstrators. The
memory of this struggle and the several
developments that followed resulted in May
Day, being formally recognized as an annual
event at the International Congress of 1891
in Paris.
“Permit me to first commend the synergy
between the Nigerian Labour Congress
(NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC)
which produced this elaborate reception
we are witnessing today. This working
relationship which has subsumed any reason
for industrial rivalry, under the greater goal
of collective pursuits and bargain, will go a
long way in building and sustaining labour
solidarity and unity.
“As you celebrate your sacrifices in work,
commitment, value and solidarity which the
May Day symbolizes, I wish to appreciate
organized Labour on a general note, for
being a part of the humble strides we have
made from our first Day in office to now.
You have been partners in the Rescue Project
on the Plateau as demonstrated from your
support, cooperation and contributions
to the development of Plateau State. Your
understanding, patience and collective
contributions have directly imparted
positively on the peace we are enjoying”,
he said.
Continuing, he added that “As you are
aware, notwithstanding the myriad of
problems we inherited which border on
most of the issues of concern mentioned,
that led to the total shut down of virtually
all sectors by Labour unrest, our sincere
efforts to fulfill the promises we made,
have seen us clearing up inherited salary
arrears and backlog of pensions. We have
also implemented the new Medical Salary
Scale in the State; the harmonization of
pensions and inclusion of pensioners not
captured; the release of promotions and
the correction of anomalies in promotions
and placements, where juniors are
appointed permanent secretaries over
their seniors amongst others.
“All these are part of the improvements
in working conditions and reforms we
are making, to improve on the general
well being of workers in the civil service.
You will agree with me that these are also
positive signs of our resolve to ensure
good Labour – Government relations for
the good of all.
“My fellow workers on the Plateau, let
me reiterate that our government will
continue to ensure transparency and
openness in her dealings with labour.
We appeal for understanding from
workers as we make concerted efforts to
address all pending issues. The leaders
of Labour should also in the same spirit
of transparency and sincerity of purpose,
contribute their quota in bridging all
communication gaps, that will make
the workforce doubt the reality of our
current challenges, and the sincerity of
government’s effort in redeeming the
situation.
“It is our expectation that our public
workers will reciprocate the goodwill and
sincere effort of government, with a greater
commitment to duty and discipline. We
must also with a sense of patriotism do
all that is necessary to put a check on all
corrupt practices in our work places. The
fight against corruption does not only
lie with the Executives, but with all Civil
Servants as the essential strata of the
bureaucratic value chain of governance.
You cannot afford to be left out in the
collective fight to rid our country of this
canker worm that has made our common
wealth the private estate of a corrupt few”,
he said.
Meanwhile, as workers celebrate May
Day in the country, a Group in Plateau
State, Plateau Regeneration Group,
PRG, has hailed the Plateau State for his
efforts at paying salaries promptly and
for clearing the back log of salaries and
pensioners he inherited when he came
into office in May 29th 2015. The group
in a statement jointly signed by Nagelu
Garba, the National President and Pius
Hommen, the secretary reads that “we
must commend Gov Lalong for his efforts
at delivering his campaign promises
of clearing the backlog of salaries and
Pension owed workers by the previous
administration”, the group said.


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