Workers in Ekiti state were upset during the weekend following the state government’s decision to reverse two months’ salaries already paid into their bank accounts.
This was coming on the heels of a proposed two-day warning strike by Teachers in the state over the refusal of Governor Ayodele Fayose to pay their September 2014 salary arrears and 2014 leave bonuses.
According to The Punch Newspaper, the state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Samuel Akosile, declared that the organization would consider the next step to take at the expiration of the warning strike beginning today, February 8.
It was gathered that on Thursday, February 4, workers, mainly civil servants, received alerts from their banks that their salaries for November and December 2015 had been paid into their accounts. However, the workers were absolutely shocked when their salaries were quietly withdrawn from their accounts without any reasons and explanation from the banks.
A civil servant, Mr Akindele, while expressing his disappointment said: “I had gone to the bank on Friday to withdraw money from the Automated Teller Machine but was disappointed when there was no money in my account. On enquiry, I was told that the government had instructed banks to recall payment.”
However, the government has blamed the error on the service providers. Speaking on the situation, the commissioner for information, Lanre Ogunsuyi, underlined that the government had no intention to embarrass any worker. “The error is from the service provider and it has been rectified,” he added.
However, some workers had gone to the bank to withdraw the money before the government could start removing the money from their accounts. Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the situation, in a statement issued on Sunday, February 7, by Taiwo Olatunbosun, the state publicity secretary.
The party accused the governor of fraudulent conduct and noted that it was not the first time Fayose was doing this to workers. “He did it to primary school teachers last year when he learnt that they were to embark on a strike. That is what he did last week after learning of the strike plan by teachers after they refused to help him in a solidarity rally to save him from Ekitigateprobe.”
“The governor that said the state was broke suddenly paid two months’ salaries after learning that the teachers were bent on embarking on a protest over his failure to pay their salary arrears, even though he quickly reversed a month salary from their accounts after workers were celebrating payment of two months arrears,” the statement read.
Debunking the allegations, Idowu Adelusi, the governor’s chief press secretary, issued a statement putting blame on ex-governor Kayode Fayemi. He said: “Is it not the mess left behind by the Fayemi’s administration that is causing problem for Fayose’s government? Nine hundred and fifty million naira is deducted monthly by those who Fayemi administration took loan from. If N950m is added to N1.3bn that came last month, it will go a long way for Fayose administration to meet financial obligations.”