By MSUE AZA, Kaduna
Some concerned workers have accused the Chairman of Kaduna State branch of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Adamu Ango, of double-speak in his recent positions concerning payment of salaries and pension arrears in the state.
The workers who spoke to LEADERSHIP on condition of anonymity said Adamu Ango, who is also Assistant Secretary General of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Kaduna State Wing, had recently in a letter commended Governor Nasir El-Rufai of paying salaries to civil servants when other states are battling to pay.
The workers said few days later Ango accused the Kaduna State government of squandering the Paris Club refund meant for settling of salaries and pension arrears.
According to the workers, Ango should not confuse the public: “As one of the union leaders as Kaduna State NLC chairman and also assistant Secretary General of state NUT, he should be very clear on issues. He should not confuse the workers and the public. He is being mischievious on salaries of workers and pension arrears of retirees.”
A letter addressed to Governor El-Rufai, signed by Adamu Ango as Assistant Secretary General of NUT Kaduna State Wing, dated 9th October 2017, said the union was mindful of the present state government’s effort in payment of primary school teachers’ salaries since it came on board.
Ango’s letter, entitled ‘Re: Petition Against The Governor Of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, As Petitioned By Restoration Group’ was in response to the petition by Restoration Group, an opposition group which alleged that the Kaduna State government did not pay salaries of teachers.
Ango’s letter to the Governor reads in parts:” Sequel to the letter of petition copied to us by the Kaduna Restoration Group, dated 26th September 2017, prompted this letter.
“To start with, the union wrote your Excellency on the 29th of March, 2017 declaring our stand on the political activities of Mr. Mataimaki Tom Maiyashi, stating clearly that we are non political have nothing to do with politics anywhere and anyhow.
“As a registered union via the Registrar trade Unions, we have our rules of engagement and ways to settle disputes with government without asking for any help from people who are not recognized by law”
“Needless to say, we are not aware of their petition and are not party to it. We merely copied just like other bodies were copied. We did not give them any record or helped in the formation of their petition.
“NUT, therefore, is stating that we have our ways of settling dispute but not through petition and would neither connive with any political and nongovernmental organisation to drive home any dispute.”
“Moreover, we are mindful of the fact the government of the day’s effort in payment of primary school teachers’ salaries since it came on board. Whereas, some states find it difficult to pay salaries to civil servants.
“It is worthy to note that NUT, Kaduna State wing has never reported Kaduna State government as a state that has not been up and doing in the prompt payment of salaries.
“In conclusion, we want to reiterate our commitment to supporting the governor to take Kaduna State to the next level, making Kaduna great again, without fear or favour.” Ango said.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government had said it has since June 2015 paid more than N17bn in pensions to retirees, N4.11bn in gratuity and death benefits to 1,654 persons.
Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, state Commissioner of Finance, Suleiman Abdu Kwari, who explained how Paris Club refunds were spent said workers in the public service have accumulated N6.87bn in the contributory pension scheme since January 2017.
Kwari, said Kaduna State has no salary arrears, averring that those who believe that the Paris Club refunds are meant solely for salaries and pensions are mistaken.
The commissioner noted that civil servants in the State usually get credit alerts of their salaries around the 25th day of every month.