In a bid to enhance the efficiency and productivity of civil servants in the state, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has stated that his administration will continue to prioritise workers’ welfare.
In an address at the fifth Triennial Delegates Conference of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Rivers State council in Port Harcourt last week, Governor Wike assured the state civil servants that he would always pay their salaries promptly.
The delegates’ conference of the TUC, Rivers council, had as its theme: “Democracy, Human Development and Social Inclusion in Nigeria.”
At the time being, some workers, who are yet to go for the government’s biometric data capture exercise, have accused the governor of owing them their backlog of salaries. But he had directed that the biometric capture was a bonding precondition to salaries payment.
The governor noted that despite the dwindling funds from different sources, Rivers State remained one of the few states in the country that had paid monthly salaries up until June 2016.
“We have paid workers salaries up to date. We will continue to pay workers’ salaries promptly,” Governor Wike said, who was represented by the secretary to the state government, Kenneth Kobani; and debunked what he described as “sponsored propaganda by the opposition that the state was owing workers.”
He explained that the state government was involved in the conduct of biometric verification of its workers, and only civil servants already verified had been paid up to June. The exercise will help the government in “eliminating those people that are eating your monies from the payroll. So far, I can tell you that there are people collecting salaries from 4 places. It is quite painful what has been going on. You see how we started, we will ensure that we continue to fight to the end.
Once a civil servant was verified, he/she gets his outstanding salaries.”
The government has reported that it has saved up to N2 billion from the biometric capture exercise from the state’s over 50,000 strong workforce.
He assured the organised labour of his administration support in their activities, urging them to always assist the government to deliver development projects to the people.
“The Rivers State government will support you in your labour movement in every way that we can. You can all attest to the fact that since we came on board as a worker friendly government, many of the problems inherited from the previous administration have been resolved,” Wike said.
Earlier in his remark, the outgoing state chairman of TUC, Hyginus Chika Oneugbu said the Union had been transformed under his leadership, and urged the incoming leaders to always maintain good relationship with the state government and corporate organisations.