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NLC, TUC plan rallies against diversion of bailout fund by states

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The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba PHOTO: NAN

Plans are underway by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart to stage rallies in states that are allegedly diverting the bailout fund into other uses apart from payment of salaries, gratuities and pensions of workers.

Speaking yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at the opening of the NLC annual Rain School, Congress President, Ayuba Wabba, explained that both the NLC and TUC would hold their National Executive Council (NEC) meetings in Abuja between August 24 and 25, 2017 to fix dates for the rallies.

His words: “The bailout fund was released by the Federal Government to state governments to pay workers’ salaries, gratuities and pensions. We know that while some states have been using this money to pay workers, there are many others that diverted the money into other areas of use that are different from the intended purpose. For instance, a state like Kogi has refused to carry unions in the state along in the way the money has been spent so far.

‘’The same goes for Kaduna State. All state governments must share the information with the unions so that we know that the money has been used judiciously or otherwise. So, when the NEC of both NLC and TUC meet next week, we would examine states that are not paying and carry out intensive protests in those states.”

The NLC boss also berated the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay over his call for moving the minimum wage law to the concurrent legislative list from exclusive.

Wabba accused Sagay of neglecting the work of taming corruption, which he has been saddled with but would rather venture into an area that he has scanty knowledge about.

He said, ‘’ I think that Sagay’s PACAC has not delivered on its mandate of taming corruption in the country and he should focus on that assignment. He should know that a country that pays its workers poorly can never reduce corruption to the barest minimum. Even a layman knows that poorly paid workers would not be in a position to resist corrupt tendencies.’’

Meanwhile, there are indications that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nigeria Labour Congress and Kogi State government would meet in Abuja today with a view to finding solution to the industrial crisis rocking Kogi State University.

The Guardian gathered yesterday the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, summoned the feuding parties to the ministry to kick-start negotiations on the fate of the sacked academic staff of the university and how to restore industrial harmony to the troubled institution.

Wabba said NLC and ASUU are indeed not averse to dialogue, adding, “yes it is true that the Ministry of Labour and Employment has invited us to the negotiation table and we will be there to find amicable solution to the problem.”



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