Some primary school teachers and local government workers in Kogi State have alleged deductions in their salaries by the government.
A former Vice Principal (Academics) in a school in Kogi told SaharaReporters that deductions in the salaries of workers in the state had been a long time ago.
<span class="block-story-object-asset"><img class="media-element file-embedded" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://saharareporters.com/sites/default/files/styles/normal_medium/public/Yahaya-Bello-679x430.jpg?itok=RWy4FGak" alt="" /></span><span class="block-story-object-content"><span class="block-story-object-content-header"><span class="block-story-object-content-header-description">Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
He said though he had left service, promotion implementation for workers is a problem.
According to him, the victims are primary school teachers and local government workers.
He however said workers in the employ of the state government get their full salaries.
He said, "The salary issue is still the way it is. Primary school teachers earn less than what is expected. They get paid 40 percent of their salary while the government takes 60 per cent. And it is not even uniform, because someone in a local government on grade level 2 might be getting N12, 000 while another person in another local government on that same level might be earning N20, 000.
"The state workers get paid 100 percent of their money though the N30, 000 minimum wage has yet to be implemented. I know someone who is on level 13 but still earns as low as someone on level 9.
"This same person on level 13 ought to have been made a vice principal, but she's still a classroom teacher. Another thing they do is that even if they make you a vice principal, that doesn't increase your salary.
"As a principal and vice principal, all you earn is that same salary you have been earning before getting to that position. You can only get extra money from the petty things you do within the school."
A young man, whose mother is currently a teacher in Kogi, said life has been unbearable for teachers since the governor, Yahaya Bello, came on board.
He said Bello started well but later started screening teachers to identify ghost workers.
"The screening did not end on time. It lasted more than a year. During that period, they weren't paid salaries. After the screening, they now had cleared and uncleared workers. Workers receive meagre salaries that are not enough to support them.
"Some people who were found to be ghost workers were sacked. Later, those that were not cleared were transferred to the pardoned list. My mum was in this category. This process lasted for over two years with no pay. Some died, some survived.
"I have family friends who died because of that. One retired as a director of education in the local government but couldn't afford to pay for medical bills, so he died. His health continued to deteriorate because there was no money to pay for his checkups."
According to him, his mum who is currently on level 9, only started receiving salary last year after the long screening.
He said she was paid N11, 000, which was recently increased to N13, 000.
"In those jobs, levels don't work like that. You might be on level 10 and still be receiving the salary of level 8 workers. My mum started work on level 8 because she came in with the Nigeria Certificate in Education. Teachers' salaries were good before Yahaya came in. Now, it's very bad."
Another source, who claimed his mother was a local government worker, told SaharaReporters that his mother's salary was supposed to be N70, 000 but that she had never been paid up to 50 percent of that.
He said the salary never comes in full but in bits.
"She once said jokingly that if her salary was paid in full, she'd be able to make a meaning out of her life. Now, she's earning a little above N10,000 in a month.
"These workers are really angry about the whole situation, hence they don't like talking about it," he said.
When SaharaReporters contacted the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo, he said, "I will not be able to speak on the matter because the salaries of teachers are being handled by the local government. I can only speak for the State government and I will not want to delve into an area that I am not conversant with."
SaharaReporters, New York