NLC to mobilise against debtor states over unpaid salaries
THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has begun compilation of the list of state governments that have received the bailout from the Federal Government and yet to pay their workers’ salaries, the President of Congress, Wabba Ayuba has disclosed.
Speaking at the opening of Congress National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Wabba said the NLC would oppose planned merger of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that would lead to massive job losses.
“One very important issue that is very key to us is the issue of merger of ministries, parastatals and agencies. Certainly, it is a process that we think should not end up in making workers to lose their jobs. If it is to transform the system and make it more efficient, we will try to partner and be a part of the process but if the end product is to make workers lose their jobs, labour will not support and succumb to such type of decision,” he said
Wabba also accused some state governments of cunning behaviours about the continued non-payment of workers’ salaries even after they have received bailout from the Federal Government.
His words: “The NEC will not fold its arms to watch workers’ salaries not paid as at when due. It is an issue that we will follow up to its logical conclusion with specific actions and processes that will lead to tangible results. But we want Federal Government to follow it up to look at how the released have been used to attend to the payment of workers’ salaries. NLC will look at the issues at this level of NEC and identify states that have been cunning and will offer leadership. We will be there personally and physically and lead workers to demand that these salaries be paid”, he said.
He also bemoaned claims by some state governments that some banks have seized their bailout as payment for debt owed by the affected state governments. He warned against making workers pay for the financial recklessness of their governors.
Wabba carpeted all the state governments that are finding it difficult to pay workers’ salaries, stressing that they would have been able to fulfill their obligations if they had gotten their priorities right.
He said: “We are aware of the economic challenges the country is facing which has led to a lot of states not being able to pay salaries as and when due. Let me appreciate the intervention of the National Council of States for extending bailout to states in order for them to meet up their responsibilities of paying workers’ salary for work that has already been done.
“But we are also disturbed because despite that gesture, we are yet to see the effects of the bailout in some states. Whereas, some states have made progress in liquidating the arrears of those salaries, some are still not.
But I think few states have been very cunning in not responding to the issue of salaries.”