The organized labour on Wednesday sealed the gate of the Plateau State House of Assembly as Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) begin the 2023 budget defence.
Workers in the state on Sunday night embarked on a five-day sit-at-home warning strike for non-payment of staff salaries and other welfare issues.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who was at the assembly complex to cover the budget defence, discovered that the main entrance was sealed.
Some labour leaders at the gate told NAN that no worker would be allowed to go in and work.
NAN, however, discovered that the members of the assembly used the back gate to access their offices.
But speaking with the newsmen shortly after the eventual commencement of the exercise, the speaker of the house, Mr Yakubu Sanda, said that the initial hiccups had been resolved.
Sanda said that the “assembly is labour-friendly” and described the incident that heralded the budget defence as unfortunate.
“But of course, we spoke to one another to really understand the need for the budget process to start.
“We all know it has a timeline on which if we don’t conclude, it will affect the system entirely, and everyone, including the civil servants, will suffer the consequences.
“So we try to explain to one another for us to understand the need for them to allow the process to start and that is why the processes are now on,” he said.
The speaker stated that in spite of the delay, the defence was going on smoothly and would be concluded on schedule.
According to him, the members will work every day including weekends to get the budget ready for the governor’s assent before the Dec. 31 deadline.
He said that various committees would scrutinise the budget to provide solutions to the state’s needs.