Local government workers in Ondo State on Wednesday boycotted the May Day celebration in the state.
The workers, members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Ondo State Council, were absent at this year’s Workers’ Day Celebration held in the state.
The absence of the members may be connected with the ongoing screening of workers in the service of the state, which affected mostly the third tier of government.
About 6,000 council workers were identified as ghost workers by a panel set up by the state government and those who had not completed the screening are yet to receive their salaries since December 2012.
At the May Day rally, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Bosede Daramola, expressed support for the verification, and urged government to pay the workers that are being owed salaries.
“Labour have said without mincing word that workers who are due for retirement should do so before they are molested. However, labour is in strong term demanding the payment of salaries to local government workers and primary school teachers that have not been paid due to the verification exercise without delay as a labourer deserves his pay”, Mr. Daramola said.
In response, Governor Olusegun Mimiko said that those politicians and civil servants found culpable in the illegal employment of persons into the service of the state particularly in local governments would be sanctioned.
He said the ongoing screening of workers in the service of the state was meant to determine the number of those who are sincerely engaged and those who have stayed in the service beyond the mandatory age.
Mr. Mimiko said that those who have reached the retirement age but remain in the service, prevent the injection of fresh intakes.
The governor said the teachers who were mistakenly categorized as being illegally recruited would be paid in a few days.
He said the ongoing verification, when completed, would create spaces in the civil service which would be occupied by some unemployed youth in the state.