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Use Paris Club refund to settle workers’ salary arrears, Ekiti NLC, TUC tell Fayemi

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi

The leadership of the labour unions in Ekiti State has urged Governor Kayode Fayemi to use the Paris Club refund to pay workers’ salary arrears, gratuities and pensions.

The union leaders said that the labour would beam its searchlight on the usage of the money once it is paid by the Federal Government.

They said that Paris Club refund provides another opportunity for government to clear the backlog of unpaid salaries, saying that though the arrears were inherited from the previous administration, government is a continuum.

Sola Adigun and Kolapo Olatunde of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) respectively, who stated this at the weekend while speaking with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, also said that Ekiti State government must prove to the whole world that it can pay the new approved minimum wage.

While Adigun appealed to the monarchs to rein on the market women not to increase the prices of their goods and services, Olatunde urged the Federal Government to guide the sources of revenue jealously.

In a related vein, Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Egbu, Owerri North Local Council of Imo State, Geoffrey Okorafor, has urged the Federal Government not to release the N649.43 billion Paris Club refund final tranche to the out-going governors.

Okorafor, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to release the funds only after the inauguration of the new government.

The cleric stated this at the weekend during the Eucharistic Service of confirmation, admission and induction held at Naze Parish of St. John’s Church, Naze Parish, Owerri North Local Council, Imo State.

The bishop, who implored the authorities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to intensify their activities on the accounts of the out-going governors and do the needful, also urged the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari, to expedite action for Leah Sharibu’s freedom from the terrorists’ captivity.

Also, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged Buhari not to pay immediately the final refund from the Paris Club debt until after the swearing-in of new administrations in those states on May 29, 2019.

Besides, HURIWA asked the Federal Government to directly disburse the fund to civil servants and pensioners owned accumulated wages in those states like Imo, Kogi, among others.

The pro-democracy group, in a statement by its National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, said the President runs the risk of exposing the commonwealth of these states to be stolen and looted as last minutes’ bonanza at this moment of transition from one state administration to another in some of those states.

“We hope that the President has not reached an understanding with some of these governors to release these humongous amount of cash to some of them as parting gifts,” the statement said.


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