The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Benue State council, Tuesday, condemned Federal Government’s withdrawal of the Paris Club Refund which it paid to the state last week.
The Chairman of the council, Godwin Anya, who spoke on the development, said no reason has been given for the withdrawal but insisted it is evil.
Mr Anya described the action as “evil,” saying it shows how insensitive the Federal Government is to the plight of the civil servants, who have waited long without their salaries.
He recalled that when President Muhammadu Buhari came into government in the ’80s as a military dictator, a similar scenario played out in the country.
According to the labour leader, arrears of salaries were owed workers, particularity primary school teachers.
However, he said Mr. Buhari would not clear the arrears of salaries even when he had the resources to do so.
“I don’t know what is happening in this country now. Workers are suffering in many states and the Federal Government is not doing anything to ease their pain. Even after giving this money reluctantly, they recalled it. It is not fair,” he lamented.
Asked if there is any political undertone to the matter, Mr. Anya said he does not know, adding that the truth will soon come out.
He advised workers to remain calm as the state government is working hard to get to the root of the matter.
A retired civil servant, Teghtegh Dakor, expressed sadness over the withdrawal of the fund.
Mr. Dakor, who spoke to our correspondent at the state NLC secretariat, said he was there to find out whether his pension and gratuity will be paid based on the governor’s directive.
According to him, when the governor directed that 80 per cent of the money be used for salary pension, salary and gratuity, workers and pensioners in the state were elated.
“For me to hear that the money has been withdrawn by the federal government and the state government is telling us to be calm is alarming to me,” he said.
“I left the service for nine months now and nothing has been paid to me. I was thinking that with this money, my family and I will have something to rely on.
“I expected the federal government to know which state is eligible and which is not before disbursing it. So I think it is evil,” he concluded.