The organised labour in Kogi on Wednesday pleaded with the Federal Government to immediately release N30.8 billion balance of the approved bailout fund to the state government.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Onuh Edoka, told newsmen in Lokoja that the money was needed for the payment of arrears of salary and pensions.
He said that a N50 billion bail out fund was approved for the state under the administration of former Governor Idris Wada by the Federal Government but the Yahaya Bello led government was only able to access N20 billion of the approved sum.
According to him, the non release of the balance of N30.8 billion has put workers, especially teachers, in a very perilous state.
He said: “As at today, majority of workers are down with five months salary arrears while those who got late clearance from the screening exercise have various months of backlog of arrears.”
Edoka said that the situation was particularly bad for the primary school teachers who, he said, were being owed well over 30 months arrears.
He said: “Life has indeed been unbearable for this category of workers as many could not afford the school fees of their children and other basic family needs.”
Edoka also appealed to the state government to make salary payment a priority because of it’s ripple effects on the economy of the state.
He reiterated workers’ support and loyalty to both the federal and state governments, urging that the gesture be reciprocated through prompt payment of salary and allowances and pensions of serving and retired workers.