Plateau Govt cleared N11bn salary arrears, restored workers’ morale – Mutfwang

Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has said that he cleared N11 billion salary arrears he inherited from his predecessor, and restored the morale and stability of the workforce.

Mutfwang, who stated this at the Workers’ Day celebration on Wednesday in Jos, said that he inherited a civil service on the brink of collapse.

The governor, who was represented by Plateau Head of Service, Mrs Rauta Dakok, said that the government took swift action and established a reliable system for salary disbursement.

He stated that in view of the economic turbulence that followed the removal of the petroleum subsidy, his administration took decisive steps to alleviate the impact and ensure that the welfare of the citizens remained a top priority.

Mutfwang assured the workers and Plateau citizens of his commitment to forge a future where every worker would be treated with the utmost dignity, respect, and fairness.

He further assured Plateau people that his administration was steadfast in its mission to revitalise the civil service and achieve exemplary service delivery.

“We recall our pledge to bolster the capabilities of our civil servants by providing them with the necessary tools to execute government policies effectively.

“Our unwavering commitment to training, staffing excellence, and a merit-based reward system is designed to cultivate an efficient and supportive public service.

“The theme of this year’s International Workers’ Day, “People First,” resonates profoundly with the ethos and principles of our administration, which prioritises the welfare of the people in all our policies and actions.

“Today we pay tribute to our esteemed workers, the bedrock of progress in our society, whose unwavering dedication has significantly contributed to the growth and prosperity of our nation.

“This day provides a reflective platform for workers to contemplate the substantial contributions of the labour force, and to reaffirm their commitment to advocating for their rights, dignity and well-being.

“It is a day dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the hard work, sacrifices, patriotism, and selflessness that have been instrumental to the development of our country,” Mutfwang stated.

According to Mr Eugene Manji, the Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Plateau Council, workers in the state reject in totality the price hike in petroleum products and that of the energy sector, which are the principal ingredients in any country’s development.

Manji, who spoke at the event, said that all policies carried out by successive governments, including the current administration, seemed to inflict more hardship on Nigerians than improved their quality of life.

The chairman said that Nigerian masses were being choked and strangled unnoticed by the very bad policies of the leaders, while workers and citizens were requested to be patient with the government.

“We are asked to farm, but workers have not been provided with fertiliser and other farm inputs.

“Even with the recent fertiliser that was shared by the Government of Plateau, workers were denied access to the inputs, leaving questions about whether the government wants workers to truly engage in farming to complement their lean salary, which does not take them home.

“We call on the Plateau Government and the 17 local government councils, to conclude the payment of the wage award recently agreed upon to all workers without further delay.

“On the issue of promotion to deserving workers, we request that the government set up measures for the immediate conduct of this exercise. Where it has been done, such promotions and yearly increments should immediately be implemented for deserving workers.

“We call on the government to explore every available opportunity for the housing scheme initiated by the past administration to become a reality to benefit workers and citizens of the state,” he said.

Mr Kenneth Shammah, Chairman, Trade Union Congress in Plateau, applauded Mutfwang for the decision to pay workers gratuity from 1986 to date, but announced that retired local government workers had already approached the National Industrial Court (NIC), for the enforcement of the payment of their gratuity.

Shammah appealed to the government not to allow the case to hang in court as it would not do anyone any good; rather, amicable resolution should be pushed until the goal was achieved.

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