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Despite Risking Our Lives, Iliya Kefas ‘Cut Our Salary’- Jalingo Sweepers


·          Sweepers Get 13,000 After Govt. Released 15,000

 

About 600 newly recruited street sweepers in Taraba state have decried what they described as  unfair reduction of their  salary and harassment by the coordinator of Taraba State Sanitation Agency, Mr Illya Kefas.

 

 

The angry workers said that Mr Illiya Kefas failed to pay the negotiated N20,000 as their monthly salaries, receiving only N13,000 as their first salary instead, however a top government official said only released 15,000 as the workers' wage.

 

The coordinator of Taraba State Sanitation Agency, Mr Illya Kefas had earlier told journalists that the 600 youth and women, known as Jalingo street sweepers, were engaged by the state governor to clean the state capital on a monthly allowance of N20,000.

 

One of the workers, who is a graduate, Deborah Daniel said they expected to be paid in the first week of July but were paid in the third week of July, and no explanation was given.

"We were deceived by the agency that the governor has approved and released N20,000 monthly allowances for the 600 workers that were recruited,"

 

 Deborah said they tried to seek an explanation from the head of the sanitation agency, Mr Kefas, but they were ignored.

 

"He ignored us and shouted at us that if we are not satisfied, let's leave, after all, many people are begging him for the job.

 

"We are not happy. There are many hazards in this work. We are begging the government to consider things considering the economic hardship," she said.

 

"Recently, one of us was nearly knocked down by a vehicle around Roadblock, and I also learnt that a woman collapsed while on duty. That's the risk in this job, yet our little welfare is not important to the agency.

 

 

"Are they doing this to us because we are poor and voiceless?" she asked

 

 

"We were asked to go to the Taraba State sanitation agency's office last week concerning our first salaries. We were both happy but to our greatest surprise, we were paid N13,000 cash, as against the negotiated N20,000.

 

 

 

 

 

"We were threatened to either quit the job if we are not satisfied with the N13,000. Some of us have already borrowed to meet our family needs considering the expectation that the agreed N20,000 was going to be intact," the sweepers decried.

 

A staff of the agency, who begged for anonymity, added that the street sweepers are being subjected to all forms of harassment by the coordinator, urging Governor Kefas to caution the agency coordinator and reform the agency for effective delivery.

 

He said he was in support of the calls by the workers to reform the agency.

The coordinator of Taraba State Sanitation Agency Mr Iliya Kefas denied that there was any standing agreement between the government and the street sweepers concerning their monthly take-home.

 

"There was no agreement between the government or the agency with the cleaners concerning their monthly take-home," he argued.

 

However, Chief GT Kataps, Taraba state Secretary to the government of the state (SGS), said the amount approved for the sweepers' monthly allowance was N15,000 and not N20,000 as speculated.

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