Street sweepers yesterday besieged the Lagos State Secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja, protesting the non-payment of their November/December salaries.

They said they were back at the secretariat because of the non-fulfilment of the promise to pay them by last Friday.

One of them, Oluwatobi Adeyeye, said they met the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Biodun Bamgboye, with the head of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and other top government officials in attendance.

He said: “We called the permanent secretary on the phone, but he did not respond. He also refused to respond to our SMS.

“We visited him in the office last Thursday, but we couldn’t see him after waiting for hours, because he was not in.

“On Sunday, we sent him a message telling him we were coming today (yesterday). This is why we are here.”

Speaking with reporters after addressing the protesters, Bamgboye said the ministry started paying their November salary yesterday. He said approval had been received for December salary on which work is ongoing.

He said a list of those who did not receive alert by Thursday evening should be sent to him on Friday.

Some of the protesters confirmed that they had started receiving alert for November salary, “but we express sadness over the delay in the payment of our salary. We urge the permanent secretary to ensure we receive our December salary in time.”

Bamgboye said their grievances were being addressed, blaming the problem on transiting from one scheme to another.

The sweepers were recruited by LAWMA before they were deployed to the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).

“The scheme under which they have been operating is not the same with the civil service scheme. So, the process of transiting from one scheme to the other is responsible for other problems they have highlighted. It is being addressed. It is a transition problem,” Bamgboye said.

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