By Eric Ugbor
Abaâ€”The Chairman of Aba North Local Government Area of Abia State, Chief Ifeanyi Ikwuechegh has accused the Chairman of Abia chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Lucky Akabuike ofÂ insincerity and instigating workers against the council management. He also alleged that the state NLC boss had personalised the issue of arrears of salary owed the staff of theÂ council.
Chief Ikwuechegh, who was reacting to his condemnation last week by the state chairman of the NLC,Â over the non payment of salary to council workers, said it was â€œunfortunate the NLC chairman hadÂ failed to appreciate or decide to turn blind eyes to the efforts being made by the council to off-set the arrears of salary owed the council workers.
The NLC boss, it was reported had accused the council chairman of ineptitude and indifference to the plight of the workers. But Ikwuechegh said it was wrong for Akabuike to have reigned abuses on his person, when it was not only in Aba North that workers were owed.
He blamed the delay in payment of the workers salary on theÂ present economic meltdown, over blotted workforce and ghost workers.
â€œThe problem we have here is that we do not receive up to 50% of what is required to pay the wage bill. On the average, the council receives N16m monthly while the wage bill is over N45m. We have over 1,380 persons on our pay roll, but only about 80 come to work and have officesâ€.
He promised that the council would use the expected October excess crude money to off set the salary backlog, insisting that only identified and genuine workers would be paid.