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Labour suspends strike, commends government for paying salary arrears


Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, the President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) .

• Nurses, midwives begin action
• Benue civil servants block road over unpaid wages

The organised labour has suspended the nationwide strike, which it planned to begin yesterday.This followed the commencement of the payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances by the Federal Government.The union, under the aegis of the Association of the Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), disclosed this in a joint statement by the National President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal.

According to them, the action would have paralysed all federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).The statement listed the organisations where the payment had started, to include, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Federal Character Commission, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

Others are Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, National Boundary Commission, National Library of Nigeria and Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.“We commend the Federal Government for starting the process and wish to advise that the payment continues until all federal officers were paid their full entitlements,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has directed its members to begin an indefinite strike.The National President of the association, Aabdrafiu Adenji, disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, while in Ilorin, the National Chairman of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Biobelemoye Josiah, urged members to comply.

Josiah explained that the Federal Government-owned hospitals have been reduced to “second-class groups.He said JOHESU, which is an amalgam of all health unions, apart from medical doctors, forms about 95 per cent of all categories of workers in public hospitals.

According to the unions, the continuous peace in the health sector could no longer be guaranteed, if the Federal Government fails to abide by the various agreements reached with them since 2012.

They also lamented the poor woring condition, including the non-payment of uniform allowance to its members for many years, has adversely affected their productivity. However, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Prof. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, has called for dialogue to resolve the dispute.

Also, in Benue State, civil servants yesterday blocked the Makurdi-Enugu highway in protest against the non-payment of their seven months salary arrears. Reacting, the state NLC chairman, Godwin Anya, disclosed that the protesting workers were not members of the union.

He explained that the national leadership of the NLC had held a meeting with the state executive council and agreed to interface between them and the state government.

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