As it’s rightly said, a labourer’s sweat shouldn’t be allowed to dry off before his wage is paid by his master. Workers across the world hold the notion that labourers are worthy of their wages. But it seems the reverse is the case in Nigeria of today as workers across the country keep groaning over their unpaid salaries, which has kept their families in perpetual hunger and penury.
The situation has become so worrisome in some states that most civil servants now opt for ridiculous means of survival.
Kogi is a special state now, and there is nothing we can do about that. From what I learnt, we’re not likely to collect salary anytime soon. We have about five months outstanding now and the state is broke. And the way things are going now, I am not sure of any state getting any bailout from the Federal Government again.
We’re not finding it funny at the moment. Everywhere in the state is dry. I live on borrowing from embarrassing sources. I have a poultry which I can no longer sustain because of lack of fund. So, to survive now is extremely difficult.
The crisis is getting worse here in Kogi because of the new government which is yet to stabilise. Former governor, Idris Wada owed us about six months salaries across board. The new governor only paid us one month salary and since, nothing is heard from him again. I run a restaurant, that’s what’s keeping us now. I also have a farm which I run but there is not enough money to fund it now unlike when salary was flowing. But thank God, I am still alive. But if nothing urgent is done, workers may …
Payment of salary is not regular in Kwara State. Some have been paid up to December 2015, while some of us have not received alerts for December 2015 salaries. Personally, I can’t say I am coping well. I can’t really say this is how I am surviving. We’re confused. I keep borrowing to survive. And to worsen it all, my wife is also a civil servant. So, we don’t have alternative source of income. If salary doesn’t come, the whole family is in a mess. We pray that the economy improves so that normalcy can return.
Our situation still remains the same in Kwara State. The governor is only embarking on development projects that can’t yield any benefit for us as people of the state in five years, salaries are being owned. Now, of what benefits are the projects when workers are hungry? If this month ends now, the government will be owing us four months salaries.
I am now a kabukabu driver to enable me take care of my family. We have never suffered like this since I joined the state workforce about 10 years ago.
It’s like we’re in hell in Osun State. As a local government worker, senior staffer for that matter, I can’t boast of eating three square meals per day now. Even, a couple of days ago, I felt bad when my children asked me when next we’re going to eat egg in our house. You can interpret what that means. So, that’s the level we’re in Osun State now. I can’t take care of my family again. My wife’s business has equally dropped because that’s the only thing we fall back on anytime I don’t collect salary. Now, Osun State is owing us about five months salaries. It’s even the grace of God that’s sustaining us. Every worker, be it at the state or local government level has not been finding it easy at all. Osun is predominantly a civil servant state and there can only be flow of commercial activities only if workers are regularly paid. One thing we want Governor Aregbesola to explain to us now is if our salary now is half and if that’s what we’re entitled to as civil servants in the state because we’re tired of receiving alert for half salary every month.
Our situation in Osun is still very worrisome. As workers, we don’t have any direction concerning our salaries since the beginning of this year. If not that I have an okada I am using for commercial purpose, things would have been worse than this. I have withdrawn my children from private schools. Even the public schools are not well taken care of. Teachers are not committed again to their job due to lack of incentives, no salaries and nothing to enjoy at work. Most of us trek to work. We go to work reluctantly now. Those of us senior civil servants collected half salaries since July 2015 to December 2015. And nothing has been collected this year. It’s a pity that our hope in All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has been dashed. I don’t see the party winning again in the state.
- TADE ASIFAT