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Bailout: Enugu to settle transport agency’ salary arrears

From Petrus Obi, Enugu

The agonies of workers of the Enugu Transport Corporation (ENTRACO), may soon be over as the state government has reportedly commenced plans to settle salary arrears of parastatals it inherited from the immediate past  administration.

Fielding questions from newsmen on the fate of ENTRACO workers who have been calling for government’s intervention, a member of the state Bailout Committee and chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Chukwuma Igbokwe explained that parastatals including ENTRACO were not captured in the N4.2billion bailout fund to the state.

“Bailout fund did not capture them. The bailout is what the state government sent to federal as outstanding which include four months arrears of subvention to parastatals, arrears of initial pension from 2009 to 2015 and a month arrear of pension in June 2015.

“So, the issue of parastatals salaries was not captured because it is assumed that when parastatals are given their subventions, they should be able to pay their salaries. But due to insufficient subvention, some are paying half salary.”

The labour leader, however, noted that the issue of salary arrears owed parastatals by the past government was raised during the bailout committee meeting. He assured that government has plans to use remnant of the fund to settle some of the outstanding arrears.

“What we should be asking is for them to be properly reactivated, maybe by buying them more buses for them to go into full operation, which government is doing.

“They were not captured in the bailout but based on the arrears, we are looking at how they can be addressed through remaining funds. Not everybody came for verification, so the committee now recommended that what is remaining should be used to settle parastatals arrears of salary.”

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