President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has threatened to mobilise workers to demand for the payment of their salaries by some state governments discovered to have been defaulting in the payment.
He lamented that despite the financial bailout by Federal Government to some state governments owing workers’ salaries, Nigerians are yet to feel the impact of the fund.
Wabba, who spoke in Abuja on Thursday at the opening of the National Executive (NEC) meeting of the Congress, said some state governments are not sincere with payment of workers’ salaries.
“The NEC will not fold its arms to watch workers’ salaries not being paid as and 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 those resources have been used to attend to those challenges. Labour 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, warning that workers should not be made to pay for the sins of their governors.
His words: “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.
“We take exception to states where the excuse is that the stimulus is not only for payment of salaries…
The issue of banks withholding these salaries will also not be taken for granted. Where banks for no reason will also appropriate those funds that are meant for the payment of salaries, those banks will also be followed up with a well-structured action to demand that those affected workers should not be made to suffer for the irresponsibility of those political leaders”.
Wabba also said the union would resist the proposed merger of ministries, departments, parastatals, agencies and commissions by the Federal Government if such action would lead to workers losing their job.
“One very important issue that is also 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’s to transform the system, certainly we will try to partner and be part of the process, but if the end product is also to make workers lose their job, labour will not support and succumb to such type of decision,” he said.