Workers of ZL Global Alliance (Nigeria), a key solid waste management company engaged by the Kaduna state government on Wednesday stormed the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR) to protest unpaid salaries.
Their presence at the state’s secretariat was also to authenticate claims by the company that its being owed millions of naira by the state government through the ministry which led to sweepers being paid half salaries in the past five months.
The angry but peaceful workers expressed worries that, while others who work under air-conditioned environment were getting paid as at when due, those of them that were doing the menial job like sweeping and cleaning of streets are being owed by their employer because the state government has not remit certain percentage of money contained in the memorandum of understating to the company.
Some of those who spoke to our correspondent at the scene of the protest said, they were at the secretariat because of delay in payment of their salaries and to the commissioner in charge whether the claim of the company was genuine.
One of the leaders of the workers and ward chairman APC, Maiburuji, Kaduna North local government area of the state, Ashiru Sani Hussaini said, while they commend the efforts of the state government in making the state a better place, their little take home should not be taking for granted, hence the need to pay the company whatever its accrued to it so they can get paid for ‘dirty’ job they are doing.
He said, “we are here to find out the claims of the company we work for that the ministry is withholding some of their monies which is making it difficult for the company to pay us our salaries in full and as at when due.
“We are happy that the permanent secretary is on ground to confirmed to us whether they are oweing the company and if yes, he has to assure us what effort are they making to make payment. We are going to hold another meeting with the commissioner tomorrow (Thursday).
“We are APC youths and we have been working even in this hash harmattan. How can someone be doing this type of work and will not get his money as at when do. No, it is unheard of”, he added.
Responding, the Permanent Secretary, MENR, Raubilu Shehu Ibrahim who came out to address the workers confirmed to them that, the company was indeed being owed some money and quickly appealed to them to be patient with the state government.
He also assured them that the ministry is doing everything possible to effect the outstanding payments as soon as possible.
“We feel your pains and understand your complaints, but I have the authority of the commissioner to inform you that the situation will be addressed accordingly.
“She has also asked me to schedule a meeting with her and your leaders tomorrow to sought out the grey areas and make progress.
“The way and manner you have composed yourselves and articulate your complaints with maturity is commendable, and as a ministry we will do the needful to resolve the matter” he reiterated.