The Abia State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress has said the N14.1billion bailout fund approved for the state by the Federal Government would not be enough to defray the arrears of workers’ salary and gratuity in the state.
NLC chairman, Comrade Uchenna Obigwe, who made the assertion while addressing journalists on Tuesday in Umuahia, said the state required additional N25billion to be able to pay accumulation of gratuities and pension arrears.
He contended that the shortfall of N25billion from the N39billion Abia State Government applied for would have been enough to pay the backlog of all salary, gratuity and pension arrears in the state.
The NLC boss expressed fears that gratuity of pensioners might not be accommodated by the bailout approved for the state.
His said, “Governor may not be able to handle gratuity. We are praying for more bailout.
“If what is provided will pay gratuity, the Governor will pay because he has a human face, but we need about additional N25billion to be able to conclusively pay gratuity.”
The NLC boss, therefore, appealed to workers and pensioners in the state to be patient with the state government as they awaited the disbursement of the bailout fund.
Obigwe, who is also a member of the committee on the disbursement of the bailout, expressed the confidence on the commitment of the Governor to pay all outstanding salary arrears of workers.