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55 months’ salary deductions: Kwara Workers protest non-remittance

Kwara workers protest non-remittance of salary deductions

Aggrieved workers of the Kwara State Water Corporation on Thursday staged a protest against the management of the corporation in Ilorin over non-remittance of their 55 months’ deductions from their monthly salaries to cooperative unions and Federal Mortgage Bank for National Housing Fund.

The workers under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria and Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations alleged that a deduction totalling N43.4m made up of N37.8m for cooperative unions and outstanding National Housing Fund deduction amounting to N5.6m for a period of 55 months (between June 2013 and December 2017) were not remitted to the appropriate quarters by the state government.

Addressing journalists during the protest in Ilorin on Thursday, the Chairman, ASCSN, Kwara State Water Corporation Unit, Ahmed Kazeem, accused the management of the corporation of stagnating the aggrieved members of staff for nine years without promotion.

Kazeem added that the management had refused to effect the financial backing of the letters of promotion it handed over to workers in December 2018 till date.

He said non-remittance of the deductions for the National Housing Fund made it impossible for the workers to access federal housing loan from the Federal Mortgage Bank.

The union chairman alleged that the management of the water corporation had mortgaged the future of the workers with the crime it committed against them.

“We gathered here today to show our grievances against all the outstanding the government is owing us. Our management had been shortchanging us for years and we had been having dialogue, finding a way peacefully out of this. But till now, nothing has been done.

“So, we deemed it fit it is high time we came out to protest to let the masses know what we have been going through in Kwara State Water Corporation, what the management of the corporation under the leadership of Mr Yahaya Omoniyi has been doing; how they have mortgaged our future.

“It may interest you to note that they are owing us cooperative deduction of six months, which amounts to about N37.8m. No dime has been paid from this deduction till date. These deductions were made from our salaries. We said the deductions should go to the cooperative as cooperators. But they deducted the money from our salaries and they did not remit it to the coffers of the cooperative.”

“We did not get promotion for good nine years but we endured. In the end, we got our promotion letters in December (2018) and we were promised that the financial backing would come from January 2019. Till date, we are still taking the old salaries. Nothing has been done about our promotion.

“Also, one of the crimes our management committed was making our National Housing Fund deductions from 55 months (from June 2013 to December 2017) and they did not remit to the coffers of the Federal Mortgage Bank. So, the staff of Water Corporation cannot access federal housing loan. We are just there like that, suffering and smiling. And we said enough is enough,” Kazeem said.

Also speaking, the Chairperson for Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Kwara State chapter, Mrs Funmi Olanrewaju, noted that members of the union had endured the suffering without solution from the management.

She informed that the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, made a commitment to pay the outstanding fund in six instalments from last year, saying it was not even paid once.

Mrs Olanrewaju said nonpayment of the deducted cooperative money had put the workers in shame as many of them, who depend on it, have had to withdraw their children from schools when they could not meet their financial obligations.

Our correspondent reports that the aggrieved workers completely down-tooled and shut the main gate to the premises of the corporation’s headquarters in Ilorin.

Source: The Punch

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