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Resign if you cannot pay workers’ salaries, TUC tells governors


Bobboi Kagaima

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria has urged state governors who cannot meet their obligations to their workers to vacate office.

While declaring support for Nigeria to go back to the regional government, TUC stated that most state governors have not demonstrated capacity to speed up the development of their states and have equally failed at meeting the aspirations of the people.

The union stated this over the weekend at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Lagos.

The central labour union called for deliberate effort to strengthen institutions that would allow state governors account for their stewardship during their tenure in office.

TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama, identified corruption as the reason most governors cannot pay salaries and not scarcity of resources.

“If we are talking of none payment of salaries, it is a case of corruption and not a case of the funds not there or available. Because for the state governments, first, we had the case of bailout, we had a case of budget support funding, we had a case of first, second and even third tranches of the Paris Club refunds.

“At every point, the emphasis of President Muhammadu Buhari to the governors was please, go and ensure that you settle your workers’ salaries and other benefits. If you are done with that, you can now go ahead and fund other projects. But the contrary is the case. So, in Nigeria, the check and balances in terms of accountability is very weak. So, we need to strengthen and develop our institutions particularly the ICPC and EFCC so that people are made accountable to the electorate and people they represent,” Kaigama said.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the NEC meeting, the congress urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the power sector, noting that no nation can develop without power.

The centre recalled with dismay, several billions of Naira that have been expended in the sector to no avail.

TUC vowed to resist the planned electricity tariff hike, stating that increment in tariffs cannot be the sole solution to the epileptic power supply in the country.

Parts of concerns raised in the communiqué include conclusion of the negotiation of the minimum wage, which has not recorded any meaningful speed.

It read in part: “The NEC-In-Session commends the Federal Government for the commencement of the minimum wage committee and implores the committee to speed up proceedings to ensure that a new minimum wage will take effect not later than the agreed third quarter of the year.”

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