Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has said his administration is committed to welfare of Kogi workers, assuring that genuine workers will be paid fully at the end of the on going screening exercise, as ghost workers would be flushed out.
Governor Bello dropped this hint while addressing the workers at the Lokoja Confluence stadium yesterday, stating that the issue of ghost workers in the civil service in the state is evil; even as he said it’s being perpetrated by unscrupulous element that has been draining the purse of the state unjustly.
He disclosed further that the federal government has approved the first tranche of N20 billion out of N50 billion bail out applied for by the state government.
The governor explained that it is the aspiration of his administration to build an Ideal Workforce in Kogi State, stressing that reality on ground shows,”we have a lot of work to do”.
“We cannot deceive ourselves that all is rosy with the Workers, whether in Nigeria or here in Kogi State. We inherited a Kogi State in which unpaid salaries and general atrocious working conditions were the norm. All sorts of tricks were devised by previous administrations to short-change the Kogi State Worker”
“ The worst is of course the scourge of ghost-workers. Thousands of non-existent ‘workers’ paid from Kogi State coffers, thus bringing undue strain and leaving the real workers either totally unpaid or only receiving meagre percentages of their wages, the governor stressed.
Governor Bello who said that he was a former Federal Civil Servant, noted that he was never owed salaries during his time in service, pointing out that Kogi Workers were already on strike for at least 6 weeks, as they were “fed up with the then PDP Government’s kleptomania, lack of transparency and disastrous policies. It hurts me that a so-called Government could receive all the Federal Allocations due to it and still find the heart to leave workers unpaid. I decided that my Administration will be different. We remain committed to improving the lot of our Workers by eliminating every scheme in the system designed to exploit and cheat them”.
Bello disclosed that the ghost-worker syndrome is an evil this Administration is committed to eradicating forever.
“No more will people sit in Pay Offices and fabricate thousands of names, add them to the nominal roll and siphon Kogi State resources with them on a monthly basis. No more will people sit down in Lagos, Abuja, even abroad, and receive bank alerts for salaries from the Kogi State Government”.
“ We want the support of Organised Labour on this, especially the Leadership. This is after all, for the overall benefit of your members. If we clean up the Workforce and remove those who should not be there, it is the Workers, who benefits. The situation in the recent past where some labour leaders have opposed the Screening Exercise under guise of the interests of their members is, to say the least, suspicious and unacceptable”, he added.
We have received four federal allocations since our assumption of Office in January, 2016, out of which we paid full salaries for January and March.
In January we received about N2.6bn while our salary bill came to about N2.7bn. We paid full salaries”.
He said, “This week we received approval to draw down on the first tranche of our Bailout Funds from the Federal Government. This will amount to about N20bn. We will draw down on the balance of about N30bn as we meet the milestones for implementation of the first tranche as set by the Central Bank of Nigeria. I also announced a commitment to use that money for salaries and emoluments of our workers. I am certain that by the time we fully disburse the Bailout Funds, disputes over outstanding emoluments will be over”.
Earlier, the State’s Chairman of NLC, Comrade Onuh Edoka said that Kogi workers generally have never been confronted with this kind of gloomy prospect like it is today.
Edoka explained that since this administration came on board, the civil service has been closed down as a result of unending screening exercise.

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