The Delta State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has appealed to the Federal Government to rescind its earlier decision to withdraw the third tranche Paris Club refund to the state.
It said the decision of the Federal Government to withdraw the refund was “worrisome” as government workers and primary school teachers were already celebrating when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa announced the release of the N5 billion to off set their salary arrears.
The NLC, in a communique signed by the Secretary, Innocent Ofuonyeadi, after an emergency State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting of the Congress in Asaba, also charged Delta State Government not to renege on its promise to clear all arrears of salary owed workers.
Meanwhile, the NLC in the state has urged all its affiliate unions to adhere to the directive by the national leadership of NLC.
It also charged leaders of affiliate unions to sensitise and mobilise members for the warning strike.
In a related vein, Benue State workers have condemned Federal Government’s recall of N14.9 billion last tranche of Paris Club refund earlier released to the state.
When The Guardian visited some offices in Makurdi, the state capital, to get reactions from the workers, many of them stood in groups discussing what would be the negative impact of the sudden withdrawal of the fund.
A female civil servant, Mrs. Bridget Gbagir, said that with the directive by the governor that the Commissioner of Finance should immediately commence the payment of their salary arrears using the refund, she had already budgeted for her children’s school fees and foodstuff for the family.
She said the sudden u-turn made by the Federal Government had thrown her family into trauma worst than what they have been passing through. and called for rescind of the decision.
Another civil servant, James Ateren, said the recall had rather dampened his moral and his mistrust in the ability of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to rule by the expectations of Nigerians.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua, who also frowned at the action, described it as a ‘trajectory’ of victimisation by the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State yesterday said that the state made over N3 billion from fix deposit accruing from the Paris Club refunds.
Umahi, who disclosed this during a stakeholders’ meeting with labour and civil servants at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki, said that the fund and Paris Club refunds would be used to offset workers’ salaries.