The Kogi State Government has warned that it will not pay workers who fail to turn-up for work, saying doing so is against the interest of the people.
The Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo said government will not leave the people “abandoned” in the face of “the ill-fated” strike called by Labour leaders in the State.
His words, “Government is assessing the situation in the state as it relates to the ongoing industrial action called by labor union leaders in the state as it may afford the state the opportunity to correct the top-loaded civil service in the state.
“Government has done its best to satisfy the demands of Labour in the state, including the settlement of salary arrears met on assumption of office by the present administration.
“The staff verification exercise was inevitable and even the civil servants supported the idea and was part of the process. The state wouldn’t have continued to waste resources on unintended beneficiaries.
“When we received the letter from Labour, indicating their intent to go on strike, we had a cause to investigate the letter. The tone of the letter, which was signed by people who are not our employees, was quite disappointing. The letter sounded like that of political opposition to government.
“The demands further exposed the leadership of Labour. The things they supported government to achieve suddenly became what they do not want anymore and when they realized workers ignored their unpopular call, they resorted to attacking workers and forcefully locking government offices.
“The clock-in clock-out system has come to stay and it is connected to the electronic payroll in the state. Those who do not come to work stand a risk of being omitted from the payrolls.
“The recent employment of lawyers at the Ministry of Justice in Kogi State has shown the dynamism young and willing people can inject into governance. Government may be left with no option than to fill vacancies left by striking workers.
“We urge workers to return to their duty posts and continue to make their demands. We will yield to demands that are tenable but there is no organization in the world that will kick against the electronic register.
“We are a listening government but we owe the Kogi people responsibility to protect their interests. How can a group of 21st Century workers say they don’t want their employees to know when they come to work and when they leave? How can a group of dynamic workers say they don’t want a pension scheme they can track on their phones and other devices?
“Continuous abstinence from work will be tantamount to abdication of duty and government will have no choice than to be decisive in order to save the system. We must protect our state from those who politic with the welfare of the people”.
Fanwo urged different interest groups in the state to call on Labour to sheath their sword and go back to work, saying government will be prepared to allay their fears.
“We are owing a month and a half salaries and will sort it out soon. Those being owed arrears as a result of the clemency granted erring workers by the Governor will soon be paid as we are 98% done with the harmonization.
“Government is dealing directly with its employees to move the state forward. Raising false alarm that government is threatening Labour leaders is uncalled for. We have zero tolerance for corruption. Any Labour leaders whose interest is politics should resign honourably, join partisan politics and wait till 2019.
“We shall not pay people who do not work for the state. It is unfortunate for a set of Labour leaders to publicly declare that the State Government should not expect productivity from a sector that is not only the engine room of government, but also takes over 70% of its resources. Leadership is all about responsibility”.