Pay salaries, pensions arrears with Paris Club funds, Imo NLC tells Okorocha.

The Imo State wing of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Governor Rochas Okorocha to pay arrears of salaries, pensions, gratuities and other entitlements owed workers with the N13. 5 billion share of the Paris Club loan refund.

The NLC made the demand in a statement jointly signed by the state NLC Chairman, Austin Chilapku, Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Paul Akalazu and Chairman of the Joint Negotiation Council (SJPSNC), Alloy Iwuanyanwu yesterday in Owerri.

They also urged Okorocha to stabilize the payment of their salaries at 100 % from the present 80%.

The Chairman of the NMA, Dr. Darlynton Akukwu, who was accompanied by past chairmen, Hyacinth Emele and Dr. Jide Egwim to Hot FM’s ‘Peoples Assembly,’ said they would not discuss with the Commissioner for Health, Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs. Ngozi Njoku.

They pointed out that the appointment of Ngozi, who is a lawyer as Commissioner for Health instead of Women Affairs was a cause for concern and disenchantment.


Source: The Guardian

NLC declares support for Amnesty International

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has declared support for Amnesty International Nigeria.

The NLC also condemned a group, Global Peace and Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, which last week protested against Amnesty International, AI, asking the global rights group to leave the country.

The group had claimed that an Amnesty report that accused the Nigerian Army of extra-judicial killings was false.

Several civil society groups have since condemned GOPRI and pledged support for Amnesty International.

On Monday, the NLC said it will collaborate with AI to promote the rights of vulnerable groups across the country.

The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, stated this during a solidarity visit to the Amnesty International in Abuja on Monday.

Mr. Wabba said this had become imperative as rights of Nigerians, especially vulnerable groups such as women, children and the less privileged, were being trampled upon.

“I want to assure you of the support of NLC and the working class because as workers, our rights have been trampled upon several times.

“You are aware of the fact that across the states, salaries, pension and gratuity are not being paid as at when due. This is a violation of the rights of workers.

“Therefore, we need to stand side by side with organisations like Amnesty International to continue to protect the most vulnerable groups against the powerful and the rich in the society.

“We have documented some of these challenges that our people have gone through,” Mr. Wabba said.

He added that NLC would continue to partner with them in the fight for social justice, anti-corruption, good governance, accountability and in the dignity of the human being.

Mr. Wabba condemned the protest by the Global Peace and Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, at the office of the Amnesty International in Abuja on March 21.

He said Amnesty International was an organisation known globally and had worked extensively on human rights in many countries.

“For such issues to arise, especially the hiring of people to come and protest in this office is something that we condemn as organised labour.

“I really sympathise with you on what has happened, certainly Nigerians are already aware that this was a sponsored protest.

“It is something that is condemnable, we should not allow those business persons that have actually privatised protest as a means of getting money to continue in the business’’, he added.

Mr. Wabba urged them not to relent in ensuring that human rights, social justice for the less privileged, among others, were continually promoted.

He said there was need for the organised labour and its civil society allies to continue to build a strong network with the Amnesty International.

“It is very clear that the people who came were on a very destructive mission. They want to destroy the image and the credibility of civil society organisations, but I am happy none of them was associated with that scam.

“It is actually a scam, a rented group; that is why they ended up fighting themselves over the small amount of money promised by their sponsors.

“They want to institutionalise the culture of impunity and they are getting worried that the era of impunity is over, they will account for their actions,” Mr. Wabba said.

He assured that the NLC would not stop the struggle to ensure better living for the workforce adding that it would continue to collaborate with the organised labour to carry out humanitarian services.

Auwal Rafasanjani, Chairman Trustee, Amnesty International Nigeria, commended the NLC for the solidarity visit.

Mr. Rafasanjani said Amnesty International was a reputable organisation that worked on accountability.


Source: Premium Times

Nigerians can’t continue to suffer like this, says Saraki, as NLC, TUC protest.

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Thursday staged a protest at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, over the rising cost of living in Nigeria.

The NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba, said the groups were protesting the delay in the upward review of minimum wage amidst increasing cost of items in the country.

“We are here to demand for good governance and express our support in the fight against corruption.

“More importantly, we demand for respect for rule of law, greater accountability and transparency in governance,” Mr. Wabba said.

He expressed worry that Nigerian workers had been the major victims of the fall-out of corruption and bad governance.

“Today the dollar rate is N500 to one dollar and the salaries of Nigerian workers have remained the same.

“Therefore, we are here to urge the National Assembly to play an important role to ensure that life is made better for Nigerians.

“We cannot succeed if the fight against corruption does not succeed.

“We appreciate the efforts by the National Assembly to ensure financial autonomy for the local governments and this must be sustained because money meant for the local governments does not get there.’’

The NLC chairman further expressed concern that in spite of the bailout funds to states for workers’ salaries, “the living condition of workers have not been improved because many are not paid’’.

He explained that pensioners in the country were owed up to 77 months and called on the National Assembly to synergise with other arms of government to pay them.

Contributing, the TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama, said that the inflation rate in the country was growing astronomically.

Mr. Kaigama said that it was time for governments at all tiers to go back to the drawing board to revive the country’s economy.

“Whatever it takes, we must review the structure of our economy.

“If we must have to kill corruption, the laws have to come from the National Assembly.

“Nigerians are hungry, the cost of living is high, no houses, no light and factories have gone comatose,’’ Kaigama said.

Responding, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said it was time to go into action towards addressing the numerous challenges confronting Nigerians.

According to him, we need to sit down and work out how to make necessary adjustments.

“It can’t continue this way, the exchange rate is high, cost of things in the market have gone high but only the workers’ salaries remain the same.

“By the next time we will meet, I will tell you what the National Assembly has done to improve the living condition of Nigerians,” Mr. Saraki said.


Source: NAN

Salaries are low, exchange rate is high, I hear you – Saraki tells NLC

Senate President Bukola Saraki addressed the Nigerian Labour Union protesters, promised a review of National Minimum Wage and support for the executive to get Nigeria out of recession.

He said: “We are on the same side, because we all want Nigeria to be better!”

“I hear you! The exchange rate is high, the tension is high — the only thing that has stayed low are your salaries.”

“As we continue with the budget process, we must find palliative measures. We cannot continue like this!”.

Acting President Osinbajo meets with labour leaders, promises good governance.

Leaders of organised labour met with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday to present a letter bordering on the welfare of Nigerian workers.

Members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) held a protest in Abuja to demand good governance.

Some of their placards read: ‘High Electricity Tariff + Increase in Fuel Price = Factory Closure, Job Losses’, ‘Stop Importation of Petroleum Products, Refine at Home’, and ‘Gagging the press is Encouraging Corruption’.

Addressing reporters after meeting Osinbajo, Ayuba Wabba, president of the NLC, said they told the acting president that there was a disconnect between the centre and the state.

“We presented our letter of demands, we reminded him (Osinbajo) that this is the second time we are marching for good governance, we have also marched to support the fight against corruption,” he said.

“We told him that despite all that is going on there is no connect with what is happening at the centre and the states because up till today, the funds of some local government have not been released.

“Despite the bailout, despite the Paris club up till now we are yet to see something tangible. We are still discussing the issues of salaries, pension and gratuity.

“He informed us, that is myself and the TUC president, that they were cataloguing these things. Everything was documented, see the documents.

“He appreciated the fact that we came in an orderly manner to table our demands, saying that is what is expected.

“He said every item on that agenda is going to receive the attention of government. We also reminded them that on pensioners because we have also been at the receiving end.”

Wabba said the government must always consider its citizens when formulating policies.

“Basically this has received a favourable response and attention. All the three arms of government need to be together, we must have good laws. They must look at the citizens in whatever policies they churn out,” he said.

Death rumor: Buhari should speak to Nigerians – NLC

Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to speak to Nigerians.

NLC, in reaction to a comment by presidential adviser on media, Femi Adesina, that no one can force Buhari to speak, noted that public appearance by the country’s leader would put to rest rumors of his death.?

General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said that “In the social media, stories circulate without confirmation; I think that the easiest way is to talk publicly to the nation because the citizens are concerned about their leaders’ whereabouts.

“If there are those who orchestrated rumours and they are not true, the easiest way is for him to reach out to Nigerians through a public appearance and a statement.

“Nigerians have a right to be certain about the health situation of their President and the people who orchestrate rumours and unsubstantiated reports, one would wish for him to call their bluff by publicly addressing the citizens.”

In his reaction, Executive Secretary, Anti-corruption Network, Ebenezer Oyetakin, faulted the call for Buhari to address the nation.

He said, “I do not subscribe to that. It smacks of mischief from such people. We are Africans. We have cultural discipline on some issues.

“He has done the appropriate thing by handing over to the VP as Acting President. Let us be patient and maintain a sense of decorum and respect to the institution of governance.’’

Move over NLC, there’s a new union in town and it’s called ULC.

No fewer than 25 industrial unions on Saturday elected Joe Ajaero as president of a new labour union, United Labour Congress, ULC.

The ULC is a breakaway faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and includes the influential oil workers union, NUPENG.

The unions elected Mr. Ajaero, the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, at the ULC maiden Delegates Conference in Lagos.

The new labour centre emerged after a two-year internal crisis that split the NLC.

Mr. Ajaero, who was elected unopposed, said that ULC would fight for the interest of workers and ensure a more equitable Nigeria where workers’ dignity and the work place would become less prone to impunity.

He said that the emergence of ULC would strengthen the labour movement and generate a new vigour that would re-awaken elements that would make workers strong.

”The new labour centre instead of weakening the movement will present labour as a creative partner that has strategic benefits for its publics, especially the employers and the government,” he said.

The ULC president said the new centre was aimed at restoring hope to Nigerian workers, the oppressed, the victimised, the neglected and other relegated members of the society

He said that the movement was not contesting with anybody or faction, but would remain a labour centre of its own, adding that “the issue of faction is over.’’

Mr. Ajaero also said that the new congress was emerging because of the exigency of the moment where people work without salaries for months and were being denied their rights at their work places.

The President of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Igwe Achese, was elected Deputy President.

Three Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Auditor and Financial Secretary among others were also elected to run the affairs of the centre.

Leaders of the new labour union said their first major outing would be against a leading airline in the country on Tuesday for alleged unfair labour practices, including seven months unpaid salaries to workers affiliated to ULC.

The affiliates of ULC include NUPENG, NUEE, Nigeria Union of Mine Workers, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Employees and the Nigeria Union of Rail Workers.

Others are the National Union of Lottery Agents and Employees, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers.

NLC, TUC reject El-Rufai’s eviction order on civil servants; vow to fight to death

The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria are at loggerheads with the Kaduna State Government over a directive for all civil servants living in government quarters to quit the premises within seven days.

At a joint press conference in Kaduna on Monday, Adamu Ango, and Shehu Mohammed, state chapter chairmen of NLC and TUC respectively, on Monday in Kaduna, said the notice was not only an abuse of the right of the civil servants, but violated the known laws between a tenant and a landlord.

According to them, the law establishing Kaduna State rent tribunal, where all matters relating to tenancy is settled, stipulates that three months’ notice be given to any tenant before any eviction can be carried out.

The unions called on all its members occupying government quarters in the state to disregard the eviction order and remain in the premises.

“We have taken all diplomatic steps to ensure that the governor sees reason but all in vain. So we are calling on all our members to stay put at the same time calling the state government to prepare their arsenal because we are ready to sacrifice our lives to protect our members,” the unions said.

The labour unions also expressed dismay over the recent retrenchment by the state government, saying it is a ploy to kick some civil servant out of service.

Speaking on this, Mr. Mohammed said the Kaduna State Property Development Company which had 60 personnel, now has 14, while SUBEB with staff strength of 300, now has only 34 staff.

“Some of our members have already been sent to the office of the Head of Service where they are doing nothing, and in the end the government may decide to terminate their appointments saying their services are no longer needed.

“Therefore the restructure is not acceptable to us and cannot hold because we are going to fight against it,” he said.

Samuel Aruwan, Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, did not respond to calls or text messages on Monday.

NLC decries arbitrary cut in civil servants’ salary

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has faulted the Federal Government’s upward review of deduction from workers’ salaries.

Peter Ozo-Eson, NLC General Secretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria in an interview on Tuesday, that the increased deduction was unacceptable.

“We got complaints from a number of workers about the pay that they got last month, being a fall compared to what they use to get.

“We have tried to make enquires as to how this has come about, and we heard that there has being upward revisions in the number of deduction that has been taking place before.

“The National Housing Fund, Pension contributions and the PAYE (Pay as You Earn), that is the Personal Income Tax deduction.

“We are at a loss as to how that will happen, because with regards to the National Housing Fund, it is stipulated what percentage of salary goes as deduction.

“So whatever has been deducted in the past is based on that law and therefore you cannot just wake up and change the amount of deduction.

“It will require an amendment and a change to the subsisting law before you can do that effectively.”

He called on the Federal Government to have a rethink on the situation as workers were already in hardship.

He said that NLC had received complaints from various workers that their November salaries were reduced as compared to what they used to get.

He said that the amount deducted ranged from N5,000 to N10,000 and above, depending on grade levels.

He explained that the Pension Contributions 2004 Pension Act as amended stipulates 7.5 per cent as employee contribution.

According to him, what can be done and what the law allows is that the matching contribution of the employer is set as a minimum and is free to increase what it has.

“But for the employee, the law stipulates that, without amendment to the law, you cannot habitually change the contribution.

“If you are going to change what people have been paying as tax, you will need to change the law and that is at least to put people on notice.

“You need to discuss with the employees because it is the workers who are going to suffer this reduction.

“For people to wake up in this harsh economic time and suddenly without even being informed, suddenly see a drop in their “take home pay’’ is something that is basically unacceptable.

“I think that government needs to restore people’s salaries to what it used to be,’’ he said.

Mr. Ozo-Eson said that NLC would meet its affiliates in the civil service union and other public sector to fashion out how government would be advised to stop such actions.

He said that given the hash economic situation, there was need for government to bring out interventions that would cushion the drastic fall in the income of workers.

“We do not want what will further escalate and complicate the conditions and we are going into the festive seasons,” he added.

NLC Faults Cut In Workers’ Salary

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has faulted the Federal Government’s upward review on deduction on workers’ salaries. Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, NLC General Secretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Tuesday, that the increased deduction was unacceptable.

“We got complaints from a number of workers about the pay that they got last month, being a fall compared to what they use to get. “We have tried to make enquires as to how this has come about, and we heard that there has being upward revisions in the number of deduction that has been taking place before.

“The National Housing Fund, Pension contributions and the PAYE (Pay as You Earn), that is the Personal Income Tax deduction.

“We are at a lost as to how that will happen, because with regards to the National Housing Fund, it is stipulated what percentage of salary goes as deduction.

“So whatever has been deducted in the past is based on that law and therefore you cannot just wake up and change the amount of deduction.

“It will require an amendment and a change to the subsisting law before you can do that effectively He called on the Federal Government to have a rethink on the situation as workers were already in hardship. He said that NLC had received complaints from various workers that their November salaries were reduced as compared to what they used to get.

He said that the salary deducted ranged from N5,000 to N10,000 and above, depending on grade levels. He explained that the Pension Contributions 2004 Pension Act as amended stipulates 7.5 per cent as employee contribution.

According to him, what can be done and what the law allows is that the matching contribution of the employer is set as a minimum and is free to increase what it has.

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Corruption: You are not saints, NLC replies Buhari’s advisory committee

The Nigeria Labour Congress has condemned the “unwarranted attack” launched against members of organised labour by members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption following the former’s suggestion that its members be incorporated in the Committee’s work.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Labour leadership said the committee members’ portrayal of organised labour as a corrupt bunch was an unnecessary display of arrogance and self-righteousness.

“Due to our respect for his record of support for popular struggles before he took the current appointment as chairman of the Advisory committee, we had refrained from responding to an earlier unwarranted attack on Organised labour by Prof. Sagay,” Ayuba Wabba, the NLC President, said in the statement.

Last Tuesday, the Acting Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress, Simeso Amachree, angered members of the Itse Sagay-led Committee when he suggested that members of the TUC, NLC, and the civil society be incorporated into the committee.

Femi Odekunle, a member of the Committee, had fired the first salvo, declaring that “labour leaders are corrupt” and therefore can’t be part of them.

Bolaji Owasanoye, the Committee’s Executive Secretary followed suit, arguing that the workers’ union’s inability to protest to the alleged corruption in the National Assembly was evidence that they had been compromised.

“For Prof. Odekunle, we know his records from ABU Zaria,” Mr. Wabba replied.

“It appears his recent trademark is his penchant for flippant and unguarded attacks against Organised labour to draw attention of people in authority for political appointment.

“The secretary of the advisory committee, Prof. Bolaji Owasanonye in his comments exhibited a total ignorance of our struggles against bad governance and corruption which was shocking.”

Mr. Wabba said organised labour had been in the forefront of supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign.

“We organized a nation-wide anti-corruption rally earlier in the life of the administration, and wrote President Buhari and the leadership of the national assembly to strengthen the advisory committee so that it could deliver on its mandate, and likened the significance of the committee to that of president Yar’Adua setting up of the Electoral Reform Committee, which was also the first major committee of his presidency.

“Our actions were informed by our conviction that corruption was at the heart of our underdevelopment as a nation. This informed our call for capital punishment for some category of graft during our protest, a call that many of our civil society allies and sections of the NBA were uncomfortable with.

Mr. Wabba went ahead to chronicle the NLC’s contribution to the anti-corruption fight starting from 1999.

“At the beginning of this republic in February 1999, at a presidential parley the NLC Organised at Ladi Kwali hall in Sheraton Hotel Abuja, in which over 1000 workers attended, our panelist Prof. Attahiru Jega asked the PDP candidate, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo what he would do to tackle the issue of corruption in Nigeria.

“He said he was looking at the example of two countries, India and South Africa. That he would establish an agency to fight corrupt. This was what gave birth to the ICPC.

“When the national assembly was foot dragging on passing the executive bill, we mobilized to put pressure for the speedy passage.

“The NLC did a number of other protests against the national assembly, from the furniture allowance of legislators to Etteh must go to cite a few.

“In the current 8th assembly, we have robustly engaged them and urged urgent disclosures in the opaque remuneration of the national assembly, cut in the expensive wages to meet the realities of our ruined economy etc.”

Mr. Wabba wondered how anyone could accuse organised labour of turning a blind eye to corrupt acts when two of its members had been shot in Nasarawa State during a protest for non-payment of workers’ salaries.

“The NLC Central Working Committee planned follow up action in Lafia had to be scaled down to avert organised carnage against workers. Perhaps the Bolajis would have preferred a further showdown and the resultant mayhem that was promised.”

Mr. Wabba further said the NLC had no intention of joining the presidential committee in, adding that Mr. Amachree’s suggestion was made in good faith and intended to broaden the fight against corruption.

“And if PACAC members feel that that being appointed into the committee confers on them the status of sainthood, we beg to differ,” he added.

Halt freefall of Naira, NLC tells Nigerian government.

The Nigeria Labour Congress has asked the federal government to find a way to halt the freefall of naira against other international currencies to save millions of Nigerians devastated by high inflation.

Despite efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria, naira keeps depreciating in value, exchanging at the inter-bank market at about N315.60 to the dollar on Thursday. At the parallel market, it exchanged for N470 to the dollar.

The high exchange rate has fueled inflation to sky high levels, with the latest figures by the National Bureau of Statistics showing an increase to about 18.3 per cent in October, from 17.9 per cent in September.

The NLC said it was concerned at the abortive efforts by the Central Bank to arrest the fall of the naira against other international currencies, saying the harm and pain from the devaluation and the attendant inflation have caused massive distress to millions of Nigerian families across the country.

The NLC took a review of the state of the nation and noted that the protest rallies in May against the increase in the pump price of petroleum products justified its positon that tying fuel price crude oil price at the international market and the black market exchange rate was not sustainable.

The NLC’s statement was signed by its president, Ayuba Wabba, and general secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson.

The NLC urged the government to consider a more “pocket-friendly template on petroleum pricing” in view of the pressure by devaluations of the Naira and inflation on workers’ wages, quality of life.

NEC frowned at the refusal of government to obey the court ruling on the 45 per cent hike in electricity tariff eight months, noting that power stability was key to industrialization, self-sufficiency and economic growth.

The Council said the continued existence of poor quality of service, arbitrary charges, unwillingness of distribution companies to provide consumers with prepaid metres and a funding gap of N1trillion was a reflection of lack of capacity to turn the energy sector around.

Lamenting over the poor condition of the Nigerian workers, pensioners and their families, the NLC said these are some of the most challenging times in the life of the nation, as cost of goods and services have more than quadrupled, while wages and pensions remained static.

Although NEC commended government’s commitment to the fight against corruption in the polity, it frowned at instances where corruption was being rewarded and whistle blowers punished.

It cited the case of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) where the appointments of 23 staff were terminated for exposing the corruption involving their managements.

It warned that the NLC might be compelled to act in defence of its members if government failed to take the necessary steps address the issue.

FG foot-dragging on minimum wage review – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress has accused the Federal Government of dragging its feet on convening a meeting of the Committee on Minimum Wage.

The NLC General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, made the accusation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ozo-Eson said that the discussion of the review of the minimum wage was long overdue.

NAN recalls that the Federal Government had on June 3 set up a 16-man joint committee to work out palliatives and fashion out a new minimum wage to cushion the effects of the fuel pump price increase.

According to Ozo-Eson, the meetings of the Committee on Palliatives have not produced any positive result.

Ozo-Eson said: “It seems that government is dragging its feet and just using the committee meetings as a way of just dragging the matter.

“Specifically, with respect to the minimum wage, we, from the very beginning, have been very clear, that the minimum wage is not something that should be subsumed under the palliatives discussion.

“The minimum wage demand was made independent of whatever they did with oil price.

“The way forward for discussing the minimum wage is established.

“It is a tripartite framework that should be set up; the ILO Convention of fixing minimum wage fixing procedures is very clear on that.

“Therefore, what we are waiting for the government to do is to actually convene that tripartite committee.”

Ozo-Eson said that it was high time government convened the meeting by appointing a chairman with equal representatives from government, labour and private employers.

He said that it was only then that government, labour and private employers would begin the discussion of the proposed new minimum wage.

He recalled that the present minimum wage of N18,000 came out of such tripartite arrangement under Justice Alfa Belgore’s committee.

He said: “Certainly, (the review) is already overstretched based on the underlining principle of understanding that the minimum wage ought to be reviewed after five years.

“So, it is clearly overdue for review and we think that there is urgency apart from the fact that the five years have passed.

“Today, N18,000 means nothing at all; cost of living has been going up and we know that N18,000 does not buy anything, just food alone today.

“So, the underlining parameters clearly require that we do a review and do such a review urgently.”

NLC Warns Against Another Fuel Price Increase

The Nigeria Labour Congress has warned the Federal Government against any further increase in the pump price of petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol.

The warning is coming as the retail stations of the Nigerian Petroleum Corporations in the Federal Capital Territory and its environs have increased the pump price of the PMS to N145 from the initial N141.

Similarly, some private marketers of petroleum products are now selling petrol in their outlets at N150 per litre.

One of our correspondents reported that some filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states had refrained from selling the product.

For instance, the Oando filling stations at Alapere and Berger as well as the Mobil filling station opposite the Magodo Estate gate did not dispense the product to members of the public since Friday.

Similarly, the Ascon and NNPC stations between Arepo and Magboro, off the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State, did not sell the product on Sunday, raising fears of another round of fuel scarcity.

The General Secretary, NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, told one of our correspondents on the telephone on Sunday that it would be insensitive on the part of the government to increase fuel price in view of the current hardship in the land.

Ozo-Eson added, “Well, we have been clear on this matter from the beginning that once you submit the determination of the prices of the products to the market, the way they are doing it in an import regime, that will devalue the naira. Therefore, they will come back and tell you the prices are not realistic. We knew that from the beginning and we said so.

“The fact of the matter is that any attempt to increase the price of fuel now, given the level of hardship and the level of suffering Nigerians are going through, will be regarded as extremely insensitive.”

The NLC secretary pointed out that while the NLC was opposed to any further adjustment in the price of fuel, it was up to Nigerians to also decide how to live with such an adjustment.

He stated, “We do hope that Nigerians will realise that this has no end, and what the government is doing will continue to impose extreme hardship on them, and they need to tell the government that enough is enough.

“Other than that, we oppose any adjustment in the pump price. If the government goes ahead to do it, it will indicate what we hinted right from the beginning that the policy adopted was wrong, and it remains wrong.

“It is up to Nigerians to oppose it. We provided the necessary leadership based on our understanding of the issues and the reality is coming home to roost and it is never too late. Nigerians will have to take the decision as to how they have to live with it.”

While the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency refused to confirm or deny any plan to adjust the price of petrol, one of our correspondents quoted officials of marketing firms as blaming the increase in the pump price on the high cost of the commodity at depots.

The pricing template of the PPPRA for PMS was last updated on May 24, 2016 and it had the pump price at a band of N135 to N145 per litre.

When asked to comment on whether the PPPRA was on the verge of hiking petrol price, the agency’s Acting Executive Secretary, Mrs. Sotonye Iyoyo, stated that forex had remained a challenge and noted that the agency works with the prevalent market fundamentals when determining or fixing petrol price.

Iyoyo said “Today as we know there is scarcity of foreign exchange and when we want to fix prices we look at the market fundamentals. We don’t just fix prices without looking critically at the fundamentals of the market.

“There is a price band that is between N135 and N145. The maximum is N145, and so anyone selling at that price is still within the price band.”

A source told one of our correspondents that marketers had stopped importing petrol into the country because the landing cost had gone beyond what the PPPRA stated in the template for the product and the government, through the NNPC, had failed to meet its promise of supplying the importers’ forex needs.

The source explained that due to the crisis in the Niger Delta, the NNPC was finding it difficult to generate enough forex from crude sale as the nation was losing an average of one million barrels per day to the bombing of crude pipelines and vandalism of critical infrastructure.

According to him, the marketers have resorted to getting the product from the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company at around N132 per litre, whereas the actual landing cost of the product is between N136 and N137 per litre, adding that the NNPC was currently subsidising the cost of petrol.

However, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has faulted the increase in the pump price of petrol by the NNPC mega stations and other private filling stations.

The minister, who said the price increase was done without his knowledge, said he would investigate the development, adding that he would also meet with oil marketers to discuss issues concerning fuel price.

Speaking on the sidelines of an award ceremony and dinner organised by the PPPRA branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria on Saturday night, Kachikwu said the instability in the foreign exchange market had been a challenge to the oil importation business.

When asked if the N4 increase in the pump price of petrol by the NNPC stations was a sign of an imminent hike in the rate, the minister said, “First, I am not aware that the NNPC has increased the price. I need to look into that; it is a bit of surprise for me because there are processes in doing this. If they have done that, it means they are doing it wrongly. Let me find out what the facts are.

“Having said that, the reality is that what we did at the point when we did some liberalisation was to enable the free market to float the price. Obviously, as you look at foreign exchange differentiation and all that, it will impact (on the pump price). The worst thing you can do is to go back to an era where we basically will be fixing prices.

“What we ought to be doing is to watch the prices, making sure that they are not taking advantage of the common man, making sure that the template is respected. One of the things I think we had hoped to do, which we should still do before we embark on any price increase, is to work on that template.”

Kachikwu stated that despite the harsh reality with respect to forex availability, the government was ready to tweak some of the components making up the price of petrol in order to forestall any increase in price.

He said, “There are still areas that are within the government’s control like payments to the Ministry of Transportation and the rest, and payments to the Nigerian Ports Authority that are foreign-currency denominated. We are working on the possibility of being able to shift that out so that you still can modulate the prices within where it is right now. But I will hold a conversation with the industry and see how it is going.

“However, what is key is that I never want to see fuel queues back. Those who are investing must be able to predict the pricing methodologies, the pricing consequences and the actions to be able to justify their investments. At the end of the day, I think the PPPRA is the one that has the authority to say it is time the template does justify some level of movement, otherwise you have a crisis of individual decisions on pricing.”

NLC Warns Against Another Fuel Price Increase

The Nigeria Labour Congress has warned the Federal Government against any further increase in the pump price of petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol.

The warning is coming as the retail stations of the Nigerian Petroleum Corporations in the Federal Capital Territory and its environs have increased the pump price of the PMS to N145 from the initial N141.

Similarly, some private marketers of petroleum products are now selling petrol in their outlets at N150 per litre.

It was reported that some filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states had refrained from selling the product.

For instance, the Oando filling stations at Alapere and Berger as well as the Mobil filling station opposite the Magodo Estate gate did not dispense the product to members of the public since Friday.

Similarly, the Ascon and NNPC stations between Arepo and Magboro, off the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State, did not sell the product on Sunday, raising fears of another round of fuel scarcity.

The General Secretary, NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said on the telephone on Sunday that it would be insensitive on the part of the government to increase fuel price in view of the current hardship in the land.

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Why we sacked NLC, TUC chairmen – Ogun Government

The Ogun State Government has given reasons why it sacked the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Akeem Ambali, the head of the teachers’ union, NUT, Dare Ilekoya, and suspended another 19 public servants from the service.

The government in a statement signed by its Head of Service, Sola Adeyemi, and made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday said Mr, Ambali was found to have held several meetings with politicians in preparation for the Teachers Day celebration, which was said to be contrary to the civil service rules.

The government said the dismissal of Mr, Ambali and others has nothing to do with the indefinite strike embarked upon by the workers.

The state government has been having a running battle with workers over allegations of illegal deductions from salaries.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun had while reacting to the workers strike at a town hall meeting held at June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, described the aggrieved workers as brainless and senseless.

The government, while further justifying the sack,? declared that the panel set up to investigate the allegations found the affected officials guilty of contravening the public service rules and recommended their dismissal from the service.

‘The panel recommended that with the facts available to it, Mr Akeem Ambali gave interviews, press statements and met several times with politicians for the D-day. The government therefore dismissed Mr Akeem Ambali from the public service”, the statement noted.

The Ogun government also justified its sack of the head of the teachers’ union, NUT, in the state, Dare Ilekoya, saying it acted on the recommendation of the panel.

“Those recommended for dismissal include Comrade Akeem Ambali, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Comrade Dare Ilekoya, the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT. They were all found to have contravened the Public Service Rules 04401, 04402 (c&d) and 04406 (a) due to their involvement in the political rally they held under the guise of World Teachers Day celebration event.

“Also the government approved the suspension of another nineteen public servants for contravening the public service rules. The government has already directed the appropriate agencies such as the State Local Government Service Commission to implement the approved recommendations with immediate effect.”

The labour leaders have condemned the sack and suspension and vowed to continue with their strike.

NLC Faction Accuses Wabba of Instigating EFCC’s Probe of Unions

The crisis rocking the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has taken a new twist, as the Joe Ajaero’s faction has accused that led by Ayuba Wabba of instigating illegal probe of the finances of some industrial unions by anti-graft agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

But Wabba, who denied receipt of the petition, said there was no truth in the petition, saying even EFCC knew it was not true.

He, however, said a former response would be issued once he received the petition and promised to get back as soon he read through the petition.

But in the four-page petition to Mr. Wabba, titled Insidious attempts at destabilizing the Labour Movement: An urgent call to stop, dated October 20, 2016, by Ajaero, the faction claimed Wabba’ was sponsoring illegal groups in unions to undermine their leadership, negating the spirit of the movement.

The petition read: “Inviting the EFCC or other security agencies through proxies as a leverage to hunt labour leaders in Nigeria will not work.

‘’Pursuing the appropriation of state powers for purposes of resolving purely industrial relations issues is at best self-defeating and we can say very destructive.

‘’If what you have to offer the Nigerian state at this time is this distraction of negative deployment of its institutions and apparatuses, then it is unfortunate.”

‘’What some of us occupy ourselves with sometimes raises an ugly spectre about our innate capacities and capabilities which questions our claim to any form of leadership.

“We want to state that the aws of Nigeria individually and collectively have stated how union accounts are controlled. Trying to use any unconventional instrument of governance with the boast that their leadership have primordial affinity with yourself is rather un-comradely and a testament of deep frustration and cowardice.

‘’Introducing ethnic sentiment into the affairs of trade unions and the movement in general is the height of sabotage. A man that invites outsiders into a clearly internal disputes is like a man who gathers maggot infested firewood, you know exactly what will happen; Lizards will come for a feast.”

Recession: Why Buhari Must Increase Minimum Wage Now – NLC

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, yesterday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to increase workers’ current minimum wage without further delay.

He said the demand by the organised labour was in view of the economic recession, noting that N18, 000 was not an amount that any worker can survive on.

Wabba said increment was the strategy the United States used to address the recession.

He argued that the economy cannot return to its former state unless the citizens have purchasing power.

“The state of the country’s economy requires that we increase the minimum wage. We need to empower the people to buy and sell. If the economy is at standstill and people cannot buy, the economy will not grow.

“It is the workers’ money that keeps the economy growing. It is not the fund disbursed for big contracts that are kept in different accounts that keep the country economy growing.

“That was the logic that helped the United States to revive their economy,” he added.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has urged Nigerians to always speak positively about the country in spite of the current economic recession.

NLC slams Senate for re-introducing toll gates

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday in Abuja berated the Senate over its approval for the re-introduction of toll gates across the country.

The NLC General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, while reacting to the development, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigeria’s policy making processes needed to be interrogated.

NAN recalls that the Senate had on Tuesday passed a motion seeking to resuscitate the collection of tolls on federal highways across the country.

The Upper House argued that toll collection from motorists was the only way to construct and maintain roads and enhance their efficiency.

However, Ozo-Eson, in his reaction said:“We used to have toll gates and we started them under pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, among others.

“We built a number of toll gates and the government itself came and tore down those structures.

“To come back again to re-introduce the toll gates means another waste of public resources and this shows that something is fundamentally wrong.

According to him, the first experience became an avenue for rewarding favoured cronies, who were given the franchise to collect the tolls.

He also noted that the nation never benefitted from the first experience as some set of people fed fat on the tolls and the roads were never maintained.

“Unless we are able to put in place a mechanism that will ensure that the revenues from the tolls are used for the development and maintenance of the roads, any attempt to bring the toll gates will again be a failure.”

Atrocities committed against Nigerian workers unimaginable – NLC

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world today to observe a day of mass action against casual and indecent work, and mass action for decent work, Kaduna State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Adamu Ango has said described unimaginable atrocities committed against nigeria workers, stressing that Nigerians will weep if Labour should open up on all constitutional atrocities committed against workers by most State governors in the country.

Ango stated this on Thursday as special guest of honour ahead of today’s global work day for decent work, organised by members of National Union of Textile & Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Ango said most governors have ganged against labour to deny Nigerians employments.

He said the governors do this by engaging consultants to carry out jobs at expensive charges, instead of engaging the services of civil servants whom are being paid a minimum wage of N18,000.00 per month.

He lamented the low value of the minimum wage compared to a price of a bag of rice of over N20,000.00 in the market, adding that workers are being subjected to greater temptation of corruption with such poor take home pay packet.

He said, “These consultants do less far work with huge payment than the actual workers employed by the government, but the same government does not want to employ workers.

“But Nigerians will weep for NLC if we open up on all that government is doing to put the masses into hardship and poverty.

“In some cases, workers dare not ask for their salaries for fear of being sacked, but as an employee, it is your rights to ask for your wages.

“We rise up and work as one family because government is trying to divide us along ethnicity and religious lines. However, this day is for sober reflection because the poor workers of Nigeria are suffering the ongoing recession than our elected leaders who are globetrotting with their families at the expenses of tax payers money”.

Earlier, General Secretary, NUTGTWN, Comrade Issa Aremu, urged trade unions to rise up to defend their members’ rights, and stop treating their members “casually” and look the other way to collude with unscrupulous employers to violate workers’ rights.

“We must kill casualization and precarious work otherwise precarious work will kill our members! Contract and casual employments are no jobs, “but crimes against humanity,” Aremu said.

He stressed that all unionists must be united to stop ongoing divisive leadership tussles, saying if they operate separately precarious work will defeat them collectively.

He further explained, “Precarious or casual work is the work done by workers under terrible conditions of low pay, delayed payment and general insecurity.

“Precarious work is becoming norm in most workplaces in Nigeria with most employers taking advantage of mass unemployment to violate workers’ rights. More and more precarious workers are unable to realize their fundamental rights at work and enjoy essential social rights.

“As we have seen in recent times with serial tragedies involving applicants and extortion of applicants in immigration, police and customs services, recruitment of workforce is also getting precarious in Nigeria.

“Most affected are women and young workers in general. In many commercial banks for instance precarious work takes the form of agency work in which a labour contractor supplies workers to the banks but the workers still remain the employees of the contractor.

“These workers are known as contract workers or temporary workers. Most banks today are mere modern day slave trade terminals reminiscent of the despicable trans-Atlantic slave trade of 15th century in which young girls are employed under corporate prostitution scheme and paid slave wages. Only lucky workers ever get elevated to the permanent status in most banks.

“Auxiliary” workers are nothing but casual workers. Even churches and mosques which should know what Almighty God ordained with respect to dignity of labour offer their workers devilish dirty jobs and pay them peanuts. Many pensioners earn less than N10,000 and statutory minimum wage of N18,000 in the face of massive currency devaluation and inflation.

“Major industries with well known brands run by respectable men and women with advertised Corporate Social Responsibility (CSRs) practice outsource major operations. We therefore call on all our members and allies in civil society to join us in a mass solidarity action for decent work”.

Labour threaten to shutdown Nigeria over planned national assets sale

Oil workers, under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, have threatened to shut down the country should the Federal Government carry out its plan to sell national assets to augment revenue shortfall.

Also, the Trade Union Congress on Sunday said it would join PENGASSAN to shut down the country if the government remained adamant on its plan to sell some national assets.

PENGASSAN, in a statement on Sunday by its National Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojugbana, said the government should look into other ways to increase its revenue base while plugging loopholes and leakages in government’s finances.

The union, which described the plan to sell the national assets as a self-destructive move for Nigeria, said, “The plan meant to solve short-term financial obligations is targeted at handing over our collective wealth to a few individuals and further impoverish the rest of our countrymen and women.”

It said government at all levels should pump money into the economy through the execution of capital projects and payment of workers’ salaries to revive the economy.

PENGASSAN said it would not sit back and watch the sale of national assets, especially those in the oil and gas industry, such as the Nigeria LNG that had become a huge revenue-earner for Nigeria; refineries and shares in the upstream oil and gas JV operations being shared among those in power and their cronies.

It said, “Any attempt to sell these national assets will be met with stiff resistance from the association, as PENGASSAN will galvanise every support, including that of our sister union and labour centres to shut down this country by ensuring that every activity in the oil and gas sector is brought to a complete halt.

“Some opportunists in the clothes of businessmen and short-sighted politicians had earlier advocated the sale of public assets such as the NLNG, four state-owned refineries, Nigeria’s stakes in the Africa Finance Corporation, the nation’s airports and reduction of government’s shares in upstream oil joint venture operations and this was approved by the National Economic Council.”

Reacting to the recent approval of the sale of the national assets by the NEC, Ojugbana said the sale of the assets would further compound the economic and security problems in the country.

He added, “They should tell us what will happen after the recession if we have sold the assets to greedy individuals. Will the country go cap in hand begging those individuals who bought the assets and borrowing from them?”

He said the plan “is ill-timed and unwarranted as it does not serve national interest,” adding that no nation could develop, survive or feel secure after selling all its national assets.”

PENGASSAN stated, “Doing this will further mortgage the future of our great country in the hands of few cabals. These individuals are just looking for advantage to further loot the country through illegal acquisition of the national assets as in the case of various oil blocks held by a few powerful Nigerians.

“The sale of national assets is not only surprising but also embarrassing for a nation experiencing economic recession. The proponents of the sale of national assets are those who have been actively involved in the operations of the nation’s economy in the past. They were part of those responsible for the country’s current economic situation.”

According to him, such sales in the past, including the power and steel sectors privatisation, are just a shift from public monopoly to private monopoly, which has further worsen those sectors.

“It is, therefore, the candid position of PENGASSAN that such a plan should be thrown into the trash bin. Government should continue to seek better ways to address the present economic challenges and reduce areas of wastage. The long overdue calls for diversification of the economy should be driven with all seriousness; more action is required urgently than propaganda mechanism,” he said.

The President of the TUC, Bala Kaigama, said on the telephone on Sunday that the Congress would collaborate with the two major unions in the oil sector because the planned sale of the assets was flawed.

He noted that if those who invested in the assets had sold them, the current administration would not have met them.

Kaigama said, “We will solidarise with them. You cannot sell vital assets like that. You don’t. If those who invested in the assets had sold them, would they have met them?

“Of course, these business people, who are saying sell and sell, let them pay the appropriate taxes. Those people who are not paying the appropriate taxes, let them pay the appropriate taxes and money will accrue to the Federal Government.

“TUC will solidarise with NUPENG and PENGASSAN to shut down the country.”

The Nigeria Labour Congress, on its own, said while it would take necessary steps on the issue, it had not taken the decision to shut down the country.

The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, stated on Sunday that the congress would inform Nigerians when the decision was taken.

Ozo-Eson added, “No. We are a democratic organ; we have our processes. We have not taken a decision; when we take a decision, we will let the country know.

“If individual unions have announced, we have no quarrel with that. We are opposed to it (assets sale) and we will take the necessary steps. We have not yet taken that decision of shutting down the country or whatever. We will inform the nation when we take that decision.”

FG Stalling On New Minimum Wage- NLC

National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),  Ayuba Wabba, has accused the Federal Government of delaying talks on a new national minimum wage for workers.
He also dismissed as misleading, speculations that talks between organised labour and the Federal Government has collapsed.
Wabba said the talks had not even started.
On May 26, a tripartite committee, led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, was set up on the matter.
While the Wabba faction of the NLC put forward a demand of N56,000 as a realistic minimum wage, that of Joe Ajaero asked for N90,000.
On its part,  government proposed N45, 000 as the new minimum wage.
The joint committee is meant to iron out the differences in the various submissions.
According to Wabba, government is foot-dragging on the issue.
He said the tripartite structure that should consider the modalities for the implementation had not been inaugurated.
“Uptil now, government is still dragging its feet on talks about the minimum wage; the tripartite structure has not been put in place,” he said.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Recession: We’ll resist sale of national assets – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on Nigerians to resist the planned sale of the nation’s shareholdings in the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas and other national assets.

The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, said in a statement on Thursday that Nigerians must resist the surreptitious moves by some businessmen and the political class to acquire the remaining national assets which he said should be preserved in the interest of future generations.

He said the NLC was prepared to join forces with other progressive movements in the country to resist the current moves to plunder the nation’s assets.

He said it was in the interest of generations of Nigerians for the existing investments to be developed by investing in profitable areas.

Wabba said the NLC was totally opposed to the recent calls by Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for the sale of national assets to get the country out of recession.

He said, “The recent call by Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the sale of the national share holdings in the NLNG and the suggestion by the Senate President that the shares, along with other sovereign assets in the oil and aviation sectors, should be sold as a way of stemming the current economic recession are unacceptable to us at the Nigeria Labour Congress.

“Investments in the LNLG and joint venture oil upstream operations are profitable and represent potential sources of revenue into the future.

“Inter-generational considerations require that we build on these existing investments by identifying other profitable endeavours to invest in. What we need is to leverage on the stream of potential earnings from these investments in seeking to turn around the economy.

“We, therefore, call on Nigerians to resist these new schemings by those waiting and wishing to lap up these lucrative national assets. We need to preserve these assets for our children and future generations.

“On our part, we are ready, in partnership with other progressive and nationalist forces in our country, to resist the further attempt to plunder our common patrimony.

NLC Wants Ghost Workers’ Perpetrators Prosecuted

The Akwa Ibom chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called for the prosecution of all perpetrators of ghost workers syndrome in the nation’s public service.

Chairman of the council in the state, Mr Etim Ukpong, made the call in Uyo on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Ukpong decried that over the years, different tiers of government had complained of ghost workers but that no perpetrator of the act had been identified or punished.

He said that he would like to see the payroll officers and their supervisors prosecuted in the court and jailed if found culpable, to serve as deterrent to others.

Ukpong decried a situation where the government could not pay workers and pensioners promptly and regularly, because of bloated wage bill occasioned by ghost workers syndrome.

He expressed the hope that with the use of bank verification number and biometric capturing, the problem of ghost workers would be eliminated in Nigeria.

On non-payment of pensioners in the state, Ukpong regretted that primary school teachers, who retired in June, 2015, only got one month’s pension a year after.

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Greedy Politicians Causing Workers’ Hardship– NLC

The Nigerian Labour congress (NLC) on Monday said greed by political office holders has continued to create hardship for workers in the country.

The president of the congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, stated this at the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC-Africa) Regional Conference on “Advancing Decent Work in Global Supply Chain in Africa,” which began  in Abuja, Monday.

The conference was organised by the NLC in collaboration with ITUC-Africa.

He said there was  an urgent need to end corporate greed at all levels of the nation’s governance system.

Wabba also said the ills and inequalities of multinational enterprises have left scars on the people.

“Comrades and friends, on the issue of fighting to halt and ultimately end corporate greed, we are all witnesses to the ills and iniquities of multinational enterprises.

“From 2007 to 2008 when corporate greed and market rascality plunged the world into a financial and later, harrowing economic crisis, working men and women, pensioners and communities suffered immense losses.

“Till date, the miseries and hardship caused by their reckless and greedy actions have left scars on people, households, communities and economies,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the NLC president as saying at the forum.

Wabba blamed politicians for “offensive concessions to businesses and providing them tax havens.”

?“Shockingly, rather than side with their people, constituents and constituencies, politicians and governments have continued to make obscene and offensive concessions to businesses,” he added.

Credit: Nation

NLC Set To Shut Six Banks For Sacking Workers

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday threatened to shut the six banks that sacked their workers.

  The umbrella union gave the affected banks two weeks’ ultimatum to recall the sacked workers and allow unionisation.

The action has pitched the organised labour against employers of labour, with the umbrella body of the employers, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly, saying the government had no right to tell banks not to sack workers.

Organised labour also threatened to picket the banks, if they did not halt the mass sack of workers, accusing them of disallowing unionisation and reneging on the principles of collective bargaining.

 NLC, in a letter to the management of the banks, which was signed by its Deputy General Secretary, Chris Uyot, said it would be forced to close the banks and their branches, if they failed to recall the affected workers.

The affected banks are: Fidelity Bank, Diamond Bank, First City Monument Bank, First Bank, Ecobank and Skye Bank.

The letter reads: “I have been directed to inform you that it has been brought to our notice by our affiliate union – the National Union of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) – that your bank is one of those that arbitrarily sacked workers recentoy, contrary to laid down procedures and the country’s extant labour laws.

“Also of concern has been that these blatant retrenchments were carried out without recourse to several correspondences, including letters and circulars sent to you by the union to retrace your steps in line with best practices in labour relations and laws of the land…”

Credit: Nation

NLC Leader Tagged “Ghost-Worker” Gets Sacked By Kogi Govt

The Kogi State government says the state chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Onuh Edoka, is a “ghost worker”, and has fired him.

Mr. Edoka was one of about 9000 people sacked following a screening exercise to weed out illegal workers from the 21 local government areas of the state.

Mr. Edoka, who serves as head of both the Medical Health Workers Union and the NLC in the state, said he was employed in 1989, and currently serves as a Disease and Surveillance Officer in the state.

He said he was baffled by the result of the screening exercise headed by Paul Okuntimo, a retired general, who gained notoriety for his role in the incarceration of the late activist, Saro Wiwa.

“The General’s committee claims that I submitted the wrong bank statements. But they only asked for my statement of accounts for the past two years which I submitted,” Mr. Edoka said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Speaking on behalf of the state chapter of the NLC, Mr Edoka said the workers union would take to the streets to challenge the government’s actions.

“The government just got a bailout based on the current staff strength. Suddenly they want to retrench workers to divert the funds even though some of these workers have not been paid for over 23 months,” he said.

“The NLC is saying that these people are not ghost workers. They are living beings and we are ready to bring them out on the streets of Lokoja so that the world can see that they are not ghosts but real workers of Kogi state,” Mr Eboka said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

FG Praises NLC For Suspending Strike

The Federal Government has praised the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for suspending its five-day-old strike.

The Ayuba Wabba-led NLC had embarked on a nationwide strike on May 18 to protest government’s decision to increase the pump price of petrol from N86.50 to N145.00.

The Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who gave the commendation on the sideline of an interactive session with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Lagos on Monday, said the suspension of the strike was a win situation for Nigeria.


“Nigeria has won, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the NLC for reconsidering their position and agreeing to join us in negotiation.

“So, it is not who has won, but (it is) Nigeria that has won.’’


He expressed the Federal Government‘s commitment to actualising its change agenda through sustained communication between it and Nigerians.

According to him, stakeholders’ meetings will further enhance information flow between government and the citizenry.

“There is nothing like the government continuously engaging the people; you notice that we started this about a month or so ago when we started with our town hall meetings.

“We started in Lagos, moved to Kaduna; we will be in Kano on Friday.

“We have also been meeting with sectoral groups; we’ve met with the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria); we are going to meet with the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission.

“I believe that it is the beginning of trying to bridge the gap between the governed and the government and it is extremely fruitful.

“We’ve heard you, and learnt a lot as well; but more importantly is that we’ve been able to explain to you why certain actions were taken.”

The minister further said that his ministry would hold quarterly meetings with the CSOs in order to engage Nigerians on national issues.

“This is not going to be a one-of engagement.

“The next time we (will) come with three or four ministers, depending on what issues are prevalent.’’



NLC Calls Off Strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday suspended the nationwide strike it embarked upon last Wednesday to protest the hike in the price of petrol by the Federal Government.
The government in a statement last night welcomed the decision by NLC and expressed readiness to return to the negotiation table.

NLC president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, announced the suspension of the 4-day strike action to journalists in Abuja after an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the body.
He said, “NEC after due consultations with its constituents resolved to suspend with immediate effect, the action it commenced on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The action is thus hereby suspended.’’
Wabba said the NLC would resume negotiations with the government on the twin issues of hike in electricity tariff and  petroleum products as well as any other issue that might  arise thereof.
He urged the government to play by the rules in its engagement with its constituent part, stakeholders and non-state actors as proof of its commitment to deepening democracy.
Wabba said that the union’s action was taken in the best interest of the poor and in drawing government’s attention to the dangers of relying on importation of petroleum products as a sustainable strategy for making available petroleum products. He added that posterity would  prove its position right.
He said the Congress adjudged the protest action to be successful in spite of both internal and external challenges.
Credit: dailytrust

Fuel Price Hike Protest: Reps Declare Support For FG, Pleads With NLC

The House of Representatives on Wednesday made a formal declaration of support for the decision of the Federal Government to remove the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, better known as petrol.

A litre of petrol now sells for N145 instead of  N86.50k.

However, the government claimed that what it did was price increase and not the removal of subsidy or deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

On Wednesday, the House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, backed the price hike.

The price hike had pitted the government against  organised labour, as a faction of the Nigerian Labour Congress led by Mr. Ayuba Wabba, vehemently opposed it.

The group had called for an indefinite nationwide strike on Wednesday, though other labour groups, including the Trade Union Congress pulled out.

The House had intervened in a bid to resolve the dispute by summoning the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to appear before it on Monday.

After Kachikwu’s appearance, where he said the government would not reverse the new price regime, the House also invited labour leaders to hear their own side of the story on Tuesday.

An ad hoc committee chaired by the Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, was mandated to interface with labour leaders.

The committee presented an interim report to the House on Wednesday, which was adopted wholesale by lawmakers.

In adopting the report, the House said it was in support of the price hike.

It added that it “overwhelmingly expressed solidarity towards deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry in the greater interest of the Nigerian economy and posterity.”

While supporting the price regime, the House urged labour to continue to “show understanding of the situation, while engaging in dialogue in the interest of its teeming membership and Nigeria.”

The lawmakers advised the “executive arm to ensure full and speedy implementation of the Appropriations Act, 2016, as therein lies much of the palliatives that will help in calming the current situation.”

Members applauded the political will of the current administration to remove subsidy, noting that it would save the country trillions of naira hitherto spent in the name of subsidising PMS.

Earlier, Ado-Doguwa had informed the House that the committee had an engaging session with labour leaders.

He said, “During its interactive session with organised labour, the committee sought to extract a commitment from organised labour to put off the intended action, but the representatives of the labour unions stated that they would not be able to give any immediate final response until they secured the consent of their state chapters.

“They categorically reiterated the massive hardship inflicted on the Nigerian worker by the recent developments in the petroleum downstream sector, which included sky-rocketing prices in  markets  both within and outside the oil and gas sector. They insisted on an assurance of reliable palliative measures to assuage the sufferings of the Nigerian workers.

“The committee unequivocally stressed the support of the House in the present efforts of government in sanitising the petroleum sector, and noted that the palliatives already contained in the Appropriations Act 2016, would allay the fears of the general masses of our country, cushion the effect of the deregulation initiatives and create the necessary peaceful environment conducive for a more rapid growth and development.”

Meanwhile, the South-South Zone of the All Progressives Congress has declared support for the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry.

The APC chairmen from the six states of the zone said this after a meeting with the National Vice-Chairman in charge of the zone, Hilliard Eta, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The chairmen said their declaration became necessary in the light of the mixed reactions which greeted last Monday’s removal of petrol subsidy by government and the threat by organised labour to go on  strike.

Those who attended the meeting were Chief Davis Ikenya (Rivers), Chief Tiwei Orunimighe (Bayelsa), Jones Erue (Delta), Dr. Ahmadu Attai  (Akwa Ibom), John Ochalaag,  (Cross River),  and Ansekum Ojezua, (Edo).

Eta, while commending the chairmen for their thoughtfulness, said for all true lovers of Nigeria and democracy, supporting the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration was the best thing to do.


Credit: Punch

Fuel Price Hike: NLC, TUC, To Go Ahead With Strike Despite Court Order

Despite an order of the National Industrial Court restraining the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress from going ahead with their planned strike to protest the hike in price of petrol, the strike will go ahead as planned on Wednesday, labour officials have said.

The General Secretary of the NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson, on Tuesday night told Premium Times that from all indications the strike would go on as planned.

On the meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, earlier convened to attempt to broker a last minute truce on the matter, Mr. Ozo-Eson said the meeting was yet to hold at about 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

“There was no resolution yet. We are just going for the meeting now. ,” the NLC scribe said on telephone interview. “We have been meeting on our own on matters that are important to us. It is clear the strike will go ahead as planned,” Mr. Ozo-Eson said on telephone on his way to the venue of the meeting.

He however assured that an official statement would be issued on the final position after what promises to be an all-night meeting.

The General Executive Secretary of Medical and Health Workers Union, north central, Richard Gbamwuan, in an interview with this newspaper, shortly after an emergency NEC meeting of the NLC held in Abuja on Tuesday, said that they were going ahead with the proposed strike.

“We have resolved to go ahead with the protest nationwide, as far as we are concerned, we are yet to be aware of any court injunction,” he said.

“And if there is any court injunction, we are just doing what federal government is fond of doing. The same Industrial court had stopped federal government from increasing electric tariff but till date federal government ignored us, they still went ahead, so we are embarking on the protest.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Industrial Court Halts Proposed NLC Strike

The National Industrial Court on Tuesday stopped ?the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress from embarking on their planned strike over the increase in fuel price by the federal Government.

The labour unions had threatened to commence a nationwide strike on Wednesday.

Justice Babatunde Adejumo gave the restraining order after the Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, argued an ?ex parte application in which the prayer for the order was contained.

Justice Adejumo ruled, “The defendants are hereby restrained from carrying out the threat contained in their communique issued on May 14, 2016 pending the hearing and determination of the ?motion on notice filed on May 16.

“It is the order of this court that status quo be maintained as at May 17?.”

The order being an interim one will last for seven days, although it is subject to renewal.

The judge also ordered that the processes in the case be served on the respondents within 24 hours and that proof of service be filed in the court.

“It is the order of this court that none of the parties shall engage in any act, conduct, overtly, covertly on this matter pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice,” Justice Adejumo added.

The judge transferred the hearing of the substantive  case to another judge of the court on the grounds that he would be engaged at the National Judicial Council when the matter would be deemed for hearing.

The judge said although  he would preferred that the dispute be resolved amicably, he was constrained to issue the ex parte order because the respondents were not yet before him.

He also said that he granted the order to make sure that people were not subjected to avoidable hardship.

He said ,”I decided to take this case this morning because it is on an issue that will affect everybody. I don’t want people to be subjected to hardship. There will be scarcity of foods, people may die, students will engage in all sorts of activities. This is why I have to grant this order.”

Malami, while moving the ex parte application, said it was in the national interest to stop NLC from shutting down the nation over last week’s increase in price of fuel.

He cited Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution as amended to justify his application to stop the strike.

Malami argued that ?no amount of damages could serve as compensation if NLC was allowed to shut down the economy.

He further argued that the balance of convenient was in favour of the government.

Malami said that labour met on Saturday and issued a communique wherein it gave government a three-day ultimatum to reverse the decision increasing fuel price.

He further told the court that NLC had threatened to shut down the country if government failed to reverse the fuel price increase.

He told the court that the respondents had threatened to close down all government offices, seaport, airports and markets.

He contended  that ordinary and law abiding citizens would be subjected to hardship if the respondents were allowed to go ahead with their threat.

Malami argued that the government was left with no alternative but to seek the intervention of the court.

He said that he got notice of the communique on Sunday and quickly filed an originating summons, together with  motion on notice and an exparte application to determine whether NLC’s decision was justified in the circumstance.

Among other questions put before the court, Malami asked the court to determine, “Whether the respondents (NLC, Trade Union Congress) have complied with the laid down condition precedent for embarking on strike?.

“Whether indeed there exist in law and in fact the basis of which the respondents’ total closure of the economy can be justified.”

Credit: Punch

Kogi Workers To Resume Strike Over Non-Payment Of Salaries

Organised labour in Kogi said on Monday in Lokoja that it would resume strike to impress it on the state government on the need to pay outstanding five-month salary arrears to workers.


This is contained in a communiqué issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) at the end of an emergency meeting.


The communiqué was jointly signed by Mr Onuh Edoka, the state NLC Chairman; Mr Ojo Ranti Matthew, Chairman of TUC and Mr Aaron Akeji, the Chairman of JNC.

The communiqué stated that previous promises by the state government to pay the salary arrears had not been kept.

It also condemned the payment of salary in piecemeal; adding that salaries for the months of October and November, 2015 were paid three months after each of the month was due.

The communiqué also decried the exclusion of workers employed between January and December, 2015 from receiving the November, 2015 salaries.

It urged the state government to pay those affected because they worked for the month.

According to the communiqué, “the state government is claiming that the employment of the concerned workers was irregular, since there was an embargo on employment in the state.’’

In a reaction, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov.Yahaya Bello, said it would be inappropriate for the workers to blame the government for the failure of the past administrations.

Fanwo said Bello’s administration was able to offset two months’ salary arrears within his 57 days in office.

“Labour was on an indefinite strike before the inauguration of the present administration, but the governor intervened to settle the industrial dispute”, he said.

He said the governor would undertake a holistic appraisal of the situation after the ongoing screening exercise with a view to addressing the salary issue once and for all.

Return Luxury Cars Or Face The Wrath Of Nigerians, NLC To Senators

The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on senators who benefited from a recent purchase of 108 brand new Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles by the Senate to immediately return same or face the wrath of the Nigerian people.

The union described the purchase, coming at a time the country is enduring excruciating financial crisis, as a crime against the people.

Reports said senators have started taking delivery of the new Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs, since last week at the rate of N35.1 million per unit.

In a statement by the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, on Monday, Labour said it was “morally despicable and shameful” that the lawmakers embarked on such acquisition when they were supposed to occupy themselves with issues that would benefit the people.

“We consider appalling, insensitive and greedy the decision of the Senate to acquire 108 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps (one for each member less the Senate President) after collecting car “loans” in August last year for the same purpose,” Mr. Wabba said.

“It is equally morally despicable and shameful that they are doing this after publicly admitting that the standing committees of the Senate are unable to perform their statutory functions due to paucity of funds.”

Mr. Wabba said the prices of the vehicles were grossly inflated and demanded that the lawmakers explain where they sourced the funds since the 2016 Appropriation Bill had not been signed into law.

Credit: PremiumTimes

NLC Insists On Reversal Of Electricity Tariff Increment

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the federal government to muster the necessary courage to revisit and review the privatization exercise of the power sector given the painful intractable problems around the sector.

The congress also insisted it would embark on a one day national strike and protest in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) to protest the hike in electricity tariff in the country.

These, among others were part of the resolutions reached at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting held in Abuja and made available to journalists.

The resolutions which were contained in a communique signed by NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, also called on government to do all that is necessary to dismantle the cabal in the downstream sector of the oil industry.

The communique reads in part, “CWC observed that in the aftermath of the nation-wide rallies and pickets, DISCOs had assured Nigerians they would make available metres to customers within a limited time via the process of accelerated production and distribution/sale of metres. CWC noted that nearly three months after, most customers continue to be subjected to estimated billing.

“CWC observed that the dwindling quality of service continues to place Nigerians in an unfortunate situation of paying higher for darkness. CWC accordingly resolved to call an emergency meeting of NEC in conjunction with TUC to perfect the process of a one-day national warning strike/protest to impress on government the resolve of the labour movement, civil society organisations and Nigerians not to accept the increase.

Credit: Leadership

Unpaid salaries: NLC Shelves Strike In Oyo

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Oyo State on Friday said it had shelved its proposed strike to protest the five months unpaid salaries of workers.


The state NLC Chairman, Mr Waheed Olojede, who spoke with newsmen at the NLC Secretariat, said the union shelved the strike following a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Gov. Abiola Ajimobi and labour leaders.


“We reached an agreement after a meeting with the governor on Thursday evening where we agreed that the entire monthly allocation released to the state by the Federal Government should be used to pay the salaries.


“Initially, 90 per cent of the allocation was used to pay workers’ salaries but this has not solved any problem.

“ So we asked the government to give us the entire allocation which is 100 per cent,” Olojede said.


According to him, labour expects that the allocation for states will increase since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had promised not to deduct money owed by debtor states for two years.


Olojede also said that labour and government had agreed to work together to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the state by constituting a committee on this.


” We agreed to name it the “Joint Revenue Mobilsation Committee’’ which will be .inaugurated soon.

“ The committee’s duty is to improve and increase the IGR in the state,” he said.


The NLC chairman, however, called on workers to be patient and allow the government and labour put into operation the new MoU.


It will be recalled that the NLC on March 29 gave the state government a seven-day ultimatum to open dialogue with it or face an industrial action.



NLC To Declare National Warning Strike Over Electricity Tariff

The Nigeria Labour Congress says it will declare a one-day national warning strike over the refusal of the Federal Government to reduce the electricity tariff.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba said this while addressing newsmen during the Central Working Committee meeting of the congress on Wednesday in Abuja.

On January 29, the NLC led the picketing of electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) nationwide, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, and the National Assembly.

The action, aimed at getting the Federal Government to reverse the 45 per cent tariff hike did not yield the desired result.

Wabba insisted that the tariff increase was “illegal, unfair, unjustifiable and an exploitation of the already exploited Nigerians.

“The privatisation of the power sector was done in bad faith and it has become obvious that the investors did not have the capacity to improve power generation and supply in the country.

“The CWC will agree on a day to embark on the strike, because several actions promised by the Federal Government to checkmate the tariff increment have not been implemented.”

He also noted that the current fuel scarcity in the country had brought untold hardship to workers and Nigerians as a whole.

“We must, however, make the point that spells of scarcity will not be acceptable to Labour and other Nigerians because the human and economic costs are unimaginable.

“We have been patient with this government but this persistent scarcity and suffering of our people will no longer be tolerated.”

The NLC president also frowned at the failure of the government to constitute the board of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.

He said that no individual had the right to fix the prices of petroleum products.

“We demand the constitution of the board of NNPC and PPPRA. The latter is a 26-man board vested with powers of regulating prices of petroleum products. Today, it is a one-man show.”

On the economy, Wabba noted that Nigerians were groaning under harsh economic conditions.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent steps to implement the budget.

“Government must consult more widely and come up with an enduring solution, Wabba said.”

Credit: Sun

FG Deliberately Creating Artificial Fuel Scarcity- NLC

As fuel scarcity bites harder across the country, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday said the current scarcity was deliberate to create different options such as privatization and promote the interests of the business community.

It accused the federal government of using the backdoor to create artificial scarcity in order to throw up options that fit into its planned privatization strategy, a move the NLC said was not in the best interest of Nigerians.

NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in an exclusive interview explained that the on-going fuel scarcity is a big disappointment and shame to the government, and failure on its earlier promises.

Wabba said: “It is deliberate to create scarcity, the present situation has remained. This particular scarcity is deliberate; government has no taken a proactive action to stop scarcity, so it’s deliberate. They have not done enough to prevent this scarcity.”

Read More: thisdaylive

NLC To Present N48,000 Minimum Wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will soon propose a new minimum wage to the federal government following the decline in the value of naira, the Secretary General, Nigerian Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, has said.
Aremu spoke yesterday on the sidelines of a policy dialogue on naira devaluation in Lagos said the current N18000 is no longer sustainable and the NLC would propose N48, 000 as minimum wage.

He said governors and employers of labour who fail to pay salaries should resign and be prosecuted.
He recalled that the first minimum wage was N125 in 1981 when the naira was about twice the value of the dollar and this translated to 250 dollars.
“The minimum wage has declined to 60 dollars. It has to move to N48,000. That is why the NLC is ready to prepare to submit our new proposal and this will be done, I tell you, whether through struggle, we will get that result.
“We are one of the poorest countries in the world. Ghanaians stand better than us. Workers’ wage is to turn the economy around and in spite of that some governors are still not paying as and when due. That’s why I said any governor or any employer that doesn’t pay salaries should resign and not only that, he should be prosecuted because the Nigerian constitution is very clear that they should pay salaries as at when due”, he said.
He said it was high time Nigeria began to consume what is produced locally in order to reduce reliance on foreign exchange and provide employment for the unemployed.

Credit: dailytrust

Gov. Okorocha Recalls Suspended Workers, Unions Suspend Strike

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo has agreed with the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), to immediately recall all suspended workers and stop everything about concession in the State.

The National President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, read the statement to the protesting workers shortly after the conclusion of their negotiation with the Imo State Government.

The statement was signed by A. N. Eluwa -Solicitor General of Imo, for the government, Chairman NLC in Imo, Austin Chilakpu, Chairman, TUC, Ezeji Ezeji and eight others for the NLC.

Mr. Wabba directed the workers to suspend the protest and go back to work.

The agreement stated that government would source for funds to pay workers which would be verified by the joint committee of government and labour.

According to the agreement, government would fund its operations with not more than 30 per cent of the verified revenue for the month.

The committee would apply the balance of 70 per cent in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.

Economic and social activities had come to a halt in Owerri following a mass protest organised by the NLC.

The organised labour had shut down the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, all ministries and offices, including the LGAs and the state Secretariat as workers trooped out for the protest.

NLC Calls On Nasarawa Govt. To Implement Full Benefits

The Organised Labour are asking the Nasarawa State Government to pay civil servants full January salaries and to implement all promotions with benefits from two thousand and eleven to date among other demands.

The ongoing strike is predicated on twenty one point demands which after five extensive meetings between the government and the Organised Labour has been trimmed to fourteen.

Addressing journalists in Lafia, the State Head of Civil Service, Joseph Ancho says the government is mindful of the adverse effects of the strike and appeals to the Organised Labour to reciprocate the concessions made by the government.

He affirms that the full January salaries are ready for payment contrary to speculations making the rounds.

Meanwhile the state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Abdullahi Adeka insists the strike continues until the government is ready to implement all their demands.

On his part, the Nasarawa State Comptroller of the Federal Ministry of Labour Halhatu Umar affirms the Ministry will ensure the two parties resolve amicably.

Credit: ChannelsTv

NLC Stage Protest In Imo State

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) from the 36 states of the federation led by the National President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba on Wednesday converged in Owerri the Imo State capital.

The protest is to express their displeasure over the lingering issue of the concession policy by the state government as well as the suspension of workers from 19 parastatals in the state.

The Labour shut down all activities at the Sam Mbakwe airport, Owerri and other government offices under the NLC to effect the compliance of the protest.

However, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Oyegun is presently at the Government House in Owerri to brief newsmen about the issues.

Meanwhile a meeting between State Government and the State Executive of the Nigeria Labour Congress is  at the moment ongoing at the office of the Secretary to the Government of Imo State as they are trying to see how to resolve the issue at hand.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Electricity Tariff: NLC Says It Will Not Relent On Its Agitation

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said on Monday that it would not relent in its agitation for a reverse of the increase in electricity tariff until government listened and acted.

The Chairman of NLC, Sokoto state chapter, Mr Aminu Muhammad stated this during the nationwide peaceful protest against the 45 per cent increase in electricity tariff which took effect from Feb. 1.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the protest by the organised labour and civil society organisations took place across the country.

Muhammad who led officials of the union to picket the office of the Kaduna Electric Company, said the organised labour would do all things within the confine of the law to ensure their demands were met.


“We are out to conduct a peaceful protest and ensure we picket all the electricity offices across Sokoto to send the message from the masses to the government. This picketing organised by NLC became necessary to ensure that the present administration withdraws the exploitative tariff.
“The labour congress will ensure it passes the message to the government, to ensure that the tariff increase is withdrawn,’’ he said.

NAN reports that members of NLC locked the premises of Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom
The Akwa Ibom state Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Akamba Awah, said TUC and NLC believed that there was no rationale behind the increase.

The union leader argued that there was no reason for the hike, adding that the state has Ibom Power Plant producing gas for electricity.
According to him, electricity is subsidised in Akwa Ibom by the state government.
Reacting in a telephone interview, the Public Relations Officer to PHEDC, Mr John Onyi, said that the company had invited labour for a meeting.
He said that as soon as the issue was resolved at the headquarters, all the state offices of the organisation would resume work immediately.
In Ado-Ekiti, NLC and TUC members also picketed the state headquarters of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, (BEDC) over the issue.
The workers who were chanting anti-government songs, carried placards containing various anti-government inscriptions throughout the 30 minutes period the protest lasted.
NAN reports that the protesters vacated the area on sighting the police and members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

The protest also took place in Makurdi with union leaders assuring that they would vehemently resist the increased electricity tariff in the country.

The organised labour lamented that the decision to step up the tariff was taken without recourse to critical stakeholder in the business of electricity consumption.

In Benin, the state Chairman of NLC, Emmanuel Ademokun?, accused the distribution companies of disobeying a court order which he said ordered a stay of action on the increase.

“We are here on picketing as directed by the national body of the TUC, NLC and the civil society organisations, against the electricity tarrif increase. The civil societies, pensioners and market women are here with us. It is a fight for everybody; it is not a fight for only the workers.

He said the organised labour would continue to kick against the action until they reverse the decision.?

NAN reports that the labour movement in Gombe also picketed the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED) in reaction to the increase.

Haruna Kamara, chairman, NLC Gombe, called on NERC to reverse the 45 per cent increase in tariff.

The organised labour in Kano was also not left behind in the peaceful protest.

Kabiru Minjibir, the Kano state chairman of NLC, who presented a protest letter to the Special Adviser on Labour Matters, Isah Danguguwa, expressed concern over the tariff increase.


We consider the increase in the electricity tariff as illegal and unjustifiable. There is no significant improvement in the power supply. The increase does not consider the current economic situation in the country,” he said.

The Special Adviser assured the labour that the letter would be forwarded to the governor for onward submission to President Muhammadu Buhari.

In Ilorin, the protest was led by the Chairman of the Kwara chapter of the NLC, Alhaji abdul Yekini Agunbiade and the state Chairman of the Trade Union (TUC), Mr Kolawole Olumoh.

NAN reports that hundreds of protesters picketed the office of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in the state capital.

The TUC Chairman Mr Kolawole Olumo said there had not been any quality service delivery to justify the new increase.
He called on federal government to find a lasting solution to the issue of epileptic power supply in the country. (NAN)

NLC Laments ‘Artificial’ Fuel Scarcity In Katsina

Katsina State chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has expressed concern over activities of petroleum marketers who create artificial scarcity of petrol in the state.


The state’s NLC said some of the petroleum marketers were in the habit of selling the product above the officially approved price. It therefore, called on the government to strengthen the state’s Petroleum Task Force Committee to deal with such unscrupulous petroleum marketers.


The state’s NLC chairman, Comrade Tanimu Saulawa, made the call over the weekend when he led other executive members of the organisation on a courtesy visit to the governor.


Saulawa said some greedy petroleum marketers have created artificial scarcity of the commodity, thereby creating untold hardship on the people.

He said as labour leaders, they had traveled far and wide and had observed a difference in price and availability of the commodity elsewhere.

“We call on the state government to strengthen the petroleum task force to be more reliable, effective and responsive so as to monitor, ensure and compel marketers to seek petrol at official price.”

Saulawa said it is necessary for the government to take action against the marketers so as to make life easier for people of the state.

He said as labour leaders, it was necessary to set up agenda for the government to address problem facing the state.

The chairman however called on the state government to always cross-check information filtering from political and critic sources before taking decisions.

He said this was necessary as there were politicians and bureaucrats that may have contributed in one way or the other to the problem of the past.

“We wish to advise you to observe and take note of such self-serving individuals and encourage your lieutenants to tell the truth and advice towards good industrial harmony that would lead to peaceful atmosphere for development.”



Responding, Governor Aminu Bello Masari expressed his administration’s readiness to work with labour leaders to achieve for a vibrant civil service. Masari however called on the NLC to complement his government’s efforts for excellent service delivery in public schools and health institutions.



Credit: Today

Electricity Tariff Hike: Workers Begin Nationwide Protest

Workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have started a nationwide protest against the recent increase in electricity tariffs in the country. The NLC had called for the protest after repeatedly calling on the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission to suspend the recent increase in tariffs.


The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, who described the tariff hike as outrageous, said it was the fifth in a row since 2012 and unacceptable.


In a statement calling for the protest Wabba said, “It is a nationwide protest, meaning that the 36 states of the Federation including Abuja will be involved in this action. Our members have been sufficiently mobilised and are ready to go. If you are an electricity consumer and you are not happy with the bills electricity companies serve you every month, you are invited to join this protest rally.”


Civil society groups and activists also expressed support for the protest and mobilised their members for it.


In Abuja, protesters could be seen carrying placards expressing their disdain for the tariff increase with some bearing such inscriptions as “We won’t pay more for darkness”.


Some of the workers came out as early as 7am for the protest, which started at the Labour House in the Central Business District Abuja. The workers are expected to protest at NERC offices and in the case of Abuja, the protest will extend to the National Assembly.

The NERC had introduced the new power tariff regime in December, outlining the various rates of increase in energy charges for consumers across the country. 

It also announced the removal fixed electricity charges for all classes of electricity consumers and noted that power users would only pay for what they consume.

The new tariffs became effective February 1.

Credit: Punch

Sack Of 3,000 Workers: Imo Govt Begs Labour To Shelve Strike

Imo State Government has appealed to the state and national leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to consider the long standing cordial relationship existing between them and drop their planned shutdown of the state.


Labour had threatened to shut down the state if Governor Rochas Okorocha failed to recall the over 3,000 workers of the 19 parastatals, agencies and departments, which he summarily sacked recently.


According to a press statement signed on behalf of the Governor by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, government appealed to labour not to embark on any strike that would not benefit anyone.


“The national leadership of the NLC should be patriotic enough to advise the leadership of the NLC in the state to honour their invitations to participate in the high-powered 18 – member committee set up by the state governor to review the cases of the staff affected by the suspension in question, so that the matter can be resolved amicably in the spirit of no victor, no vanquished”, Okorocha pleaded.


While recalling that the inauguration of the committee could not take place last Tuesday, because the Labour Representatives did not come for the exercise, Okorocha equally recalled that the Committee has the state NLC Chairman, the Trade Union Congress, TUC Chairman, the State Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, and the Chairman of National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, as members. Others chosen from labour unions are the Representative of Magistrates Association of Nigeria, Representative of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Imo State University, IMSU, Imo Polytechnic, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Chairman of Imo State branch of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, and representative of the Judiciary Service Union of Nigeria, JUSUN.


Credit: Vanguard

NLC Declares War On Governors Over Planned Retrenchment

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to shut down any state whose governor retrenches workers under the guise of the economic down turn currently being witnessed in the country.


Besides, the NLC at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos at the weekend said it was wrong for the governors to turn their workers to scapegoats when the benefits of political employees are not touched.


‘’They are paid regularly huge sums that are not even approved by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission,’’ the NLC said in a communiqué signed by its President,Comrade Auba Wabba and General-Secretary, Dr.Peter Ozo-Eson.


The NLC said based on this position the body would shut down Imo State over Governor Rochas Okorocha’s consistent anti-labour policies, impunity and retrenchment of workers, which it said was at variance with the promiseshe made to the leadership of the Congress that he would not spite workers in the state.


The Congress alleged Okorocha had raised a private militia armed to the teeth to inflict injuries on innocent workers in the state.




Credit : Daily Trust

NLC To Shut Down Imo Over Anti-Labour Policies

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC ) has finally resolved to mobilise to Imo State to shut it down as a response to what it termed Governor Rochas Okorocha’s anti-labour policies, workers’ retrenchment.


Besides, the congress has decided to report Governor Okorocha to the Inpector General Police (IGP) for raising armed private militia against workers and inflicting injuries on them, while also warning that there would be serious consequences if he continued.


These decisions were taken after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NLC, held in Lagos, at the weekend. The congress leadership visited Imo State recently where they held a rally with the workers and also met with Governor Okorocha who promised them and denied any anti-labour practices.


But barely few days after the departure of the NLC leadership, the governor sacked about 3,000 workers in some government parastatals in the state.


Rising from the NEC meeting, the NLC said: “In line with the congress’ philosophy of an injury to one is an injury to all, Congress also resolved to mobilise to Imo State to shut it down as a response to Governor Okorocha’s anti-labour policies and retrenchment of workers, in spite of his promises to the leadership of the congress that he would not take such decisions.”




Credit : Nigerian Tribune

NLC Vows To Resist Removal Of Fuel Subsidy ‘Through Back Door’

Nigerian workers have vowed to vehemently resist any move by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to deregulate operations of the downstream sector of the country’s petroleum industry and remove fuel subsidy through the back door.

The workers’ umbrella body, the Nigeria Labour Congress, said on Tuesday that any attempt by government to adjust the fuel price in the country without recourse to the institution legally authorized to do so would be considered unlawful.

The NLC General Secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson, said government officials and some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress have in the past few weeks made discordant tunes about the future of petroleum products prices and the management of the subsidy scheme in the country.

The NLC said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, had initially announced that come next year the price of petrol would revert to ?97 per litre, while fuel subsidy would be phased out.

However, Mr. Ozo-Eson noted that two days later the Minister had denied the report, claiming that what he said was that fuel price would operate within a band of ?87 and ?97, which he said did not mean subsidy removal.

“The same minister now says that the price of petrol will now be ?85 in January, signifying the deregulation of the sector,” Mr. Ozo-Eson said.

“These vacillations and flip flops are, in our view, designed to confuse Nigerians and pave the way for deregulation of petrol prices through the back door.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Resign If You Cannot Pay Minimum Wage, NLC Tells Governors

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked any state governor in the country who cannot pay the N18,000 minimum wage to resign from office without delay.

The NLC insisted that the N18,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers was not fixed but was negotiated through a tripartite system.
The National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, made this declaration in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the weekend while speaking with journalists shortly after attending the Janazah prayers organised for the late wife of the former Vice-President of NLC, Mr. Issa Aremu, Hamdalah.

He also warned that any governor reneging on that agreement was breaking the law of the land, adding that such governor should resign from his position.
Wabba also  hailed the ongoing war against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying corruption had killed more people in the country than auto accidents.

“They have been misinforming the people about the N18,000 minimum wage. Minimum wage is not fixed, it was negotiated through a tripartite system; 10 state governors represented the governors, federal government and organised private sector were also represented. It was a tripartite process of collective bargaining.

“We had looked at all the indices of ability to pay. It is a law and anybody who refuses to pay is breaking the law of Nigeria and we advise such governor to resign.

“Why is it that the salary of councillors to the highest political office all over the country despite their inability to pay is the same? If there is economic challenge, why should it be the workers that will bear the burden? Councillors in least economic viable to the most economic viable states in the country earn the same salaries. So who are they fooling?

“Can they continue to fool us? When the resources were there workers were not enjoying. Now that there is a challenge in the system why should the burden be shifted only to the workers? That is not acceptable to us. This is like a battle for us as we must continue to insist that workers should work in dignity and there must be dignity in labour,” he posited.

Credit: ThisDay

NLC To Present New Minimum Wage Proposal

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba has said a new minimum wage will soon be presented to the government.

Speaking at the delegate conference of the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Wabba said since the five- year period stipulated for the review of the minimum wage had lapsed, the NLC was working in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to arrive at a figure to be presented to government.

He said the recent announcement by governors under the Nigeria Governors Forum that they could not continue to pay the N18,000 minimum wage was part of a ploy to frustrate the demand for an upward review.

He vowed that the congress would make the states ungovernable for any governor that tinker with the current minimum wage, pointing out that the leadership of the labour movement in the country was committed to a review.

Credit: Nation

Enugu State University Sacks 153 Lecturers

THE authorities of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Enugu has sacked 153 lecturers from its employ.
Although no official reason was given for the exercise, but it was gathered that the sack, which also affected a Professor and a Reader cut across various departments in the university.

A statement announcing the sack dated November 23 and signed by the Registrar, Leonard Khama, and made available to Tribune Online, said: “I am directed to inform you and you are hereby
informed that the university is presently not
positioned to employ you.

“You should, therefore, hand over university property in your possession to the Head of Department. If, however, your services are required in the future by the university, you will be informed accordingly.”

Source: Tribune

Governors’ Attempt To Reverse Minimum Wage, A Declaration Of War- NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned that attempts by the 36 governors of the federation to slash the N18,000 minimum wage over their inability to meet the wage obligations to workers will amount to a declaration of war.

In a statement on Sunday, NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, expressed concern over the move by the governors, who met under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) last week and made the pronouncement at the end of their meeting, to reduce the minimum wage.
He said: “The Nigeria Labour Congress is shocked by the statement credited to the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, that the N18,000 national minimum wage promulgated into law in 2011 was no longer sustainable because of the fall in the price of crude oil.

“The governor who was speaking on behalf of his colleagues at the end of a meeting of the forum also claimed that the national minimum wage was ‘imposed’.

“We wish to make it abundantly clear that this attempt to reverse the national minimum wage is a declaration of war against the working people of this country, and we would have no alternative than to mobilise to respond to this act of aggression by the political class on our welfare.

“For the record, the 2011 National Minimum Wage Act came into existence after almost two years of agitation and negotiation by the tripartite of government (represented by both the federal and state governments), the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) representing other employers (in the private sector) and organised labour.

“This is in the best tradition of a tripartite negotiation recognised and codified by the International Labour Organisation.

“As organised labour, we submitted a request for N52,000 and provided justification for it as the minimum wage which a worker and his recognised legal dependents need to live a healthy life over 30 to 31 days in a month.

Credit: ThisDay

Fayose, Wike Kick Against Death Penalty For Corrupt Govt Officials

Governors of Ekiti and Rivers state have kicked against the suggestion that government officials found guilty of stealing the Nations treasury should be sentenced to death.

The state governors spoke against this during the National rallies held by NLC members to canvass for support for the Buhari anti corruption drive as well as call for death penalty to be enforced on corrupt government officials.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose argued that death penalty which has been enforced in some other countries has not stopped the looting of public funds in those countries.

“In countries where death penalty was introduced, it has not stopped looting. In advanced countries like US, jail sentence is the penalty. What we need is proper moral education to change orientation of the people. Jail sentence is better; it can reform,” he told Punch
In the same vein, the Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike who spoke through his media aide, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, said that death penalty was practiced in the military regime. He however called for a review of the laws on looting the Nations treasury
“Nigerians have a role to play by deriding looters and not to praise them for their fiscal irresponsibility. There should be a strong punitive measure to discourage looting because of its domino effects. When a treasury is looted, there won’t be money for the provision of necessities such as hospitals, roads, etc. Maybe because it happened in Ghana and the economy improved, the labour organisations want it in Nigeria. But that was a military regime and Jerry Rawlings was a military man. However, the extant laws on looting need serious and urgent review, even if the death penalty is discouraged.”he said
Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who spoke through his information commissioner, Kayode Akinmade, said due process must be followed if Nigerians agree that the death penalty is what should be meted on corrupt officials.
“We are not under a military rule; this is democracy and we have constitution that we follow. If it is put in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, irrespective of whether you are a governor or not, so be it. If that is what Nigerians want, it is okay. Everybody is against corruption, but there is a process of making law. Thank God we have a National Assembly and the state assemblies who are representative of the people. If such bill could be sent to the national and state assemblies and be passed into law, it must become a law. If the process is followed and it is the wish of Nigerians that looters be killed, why not? Let it become a law. It is a fact that Nigerians are not happy with this corruption tag, which has slowed down our economic development but if we have a law that will bring about capital punishment for the looters, it is okay.”he said.

Death Penalty For Looters, NLC Demands

Organised labour unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, have jointly called for capital punishment for anybody found guilty of corruption in the country.

The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, and his counterpart in the TUC, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, made the call on Tuesday at a press conference on a national rally against corruption. The rally is scheduled for Thursday (tomorrow).

The union leaders said they would lead workers in a solidarity march to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the National Assembly complex and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to declare support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign against corruption.

Read More: punchng

NLC Supports Buhari On Probe, Slams NASS On Jumbo Pay

The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said Mr. Buhari should note that he was elected based on his integrity and promise to clean the rot in the system, adding that he should not cave in to any pressure from anybody or group to stop the anti-corruption war.

“One person who will serve as good example for all Nigerians is the president and he must be ready to lay a good example.

“We are aware that some people are persuading him not to go ahead with the probe, but he should not allow any pressure from anybody. He should go ahead with it and even prosecute whoever is found guilty”, he said.

Wabba said organized labour was planning a rally in support of the probe.

“We are planning a rally and we will continue to support him if he continues to stand on the basis of the truth”, he said.

The NLC chief noted that June allocation was increased by about 13 per cent, pointing out that the increase would have ended in private pockets had President Buhari not taken some measures to block leakages in the system.

“This increase showed that there has been a leakage in the past. This 13 per cent would have ended in some individual pockets. This shows that President Buhari is ready to fight corruption and he if continues, it will help the economy”, Wabba said.

On the jumbo pay allocated to the National Assembly, Wabba expressed regrets that despite the promised by the lawmakers to reduced and re-address the allocation, they have rejected taking a pay cut.

He vowed that labour will engage the lawmakers over the issue just as he demanded explanation on how the National Assembly allegedly spent N600 billion in the last four years.

Read More: dailytimes

N50,000 Minimum Wage Per Month? NLC Requests For Raise

Mr Jerry Nnubia, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Anambra , says that the current minimum wage being earned by workers should be increased to N50,000 monthly from its present N18,000.

Nnubia told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Awka, capital of Anambra, that the increment became imperative following the “harsh” economic realities in the country.

Nnubia said that the minimum wage was long overdue for an upward review.

“At the time we negotiated for a minimum wage of N18, 000, a dollar was exchanging for N140, but a dollar exchanges for between N220 and N240 now.

“The cost of living; accommodation, transportation and food items has also gone high, making it difficult for salary earners to take care of their basic needs,” he said.

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Increment Of Workers Salary ‘ll Reduce Corruption – NLC

THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has demanded for a review of the present minimum wage paid to workers in accordance with the economic realities.

The Comrade Ayuba Wabba-led faction of NLC yesterday in Abuja after its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting also said that an increment of workers salary would help to reduce corruption in the polity.

He said that it was unacceptable for Nigerians including the labour force to live in abject poverty while few privileged people continue to steal the nation’s resources and starch it in foreign banks.

Comrade Wabba who assured that the labour movement would lead the protest to ensure that the federal government recovered the looted funds said that NLC would organise a symbolic national one day protest to ensure that such funds in the hands of individuals were recovered.

He explained that the NEC would demand from government and the tripartite partners for the review of the minimum wage.

He also noted that the pitiable state of the nation’s economy has become of great concern to the labour union as it has affected the working class and had led to many states not being able to pay salaries as at when due.

While appreciating the efforts of the Council of States for approving the bailout for states that had been unable to pay salaries to workers, he said that NLC was disturbed that despite the federal government gesture, the effect of the bailout was yet to be seen.

According to him, while in some states relative progress had been made, few states had remained chronic, adding that the Central Working Committee, CWC of the union was of the view that payment of salary should be a matter of national priority and that the NEC would not fold arms watching workers not to be paid as at when due.

For the states that had received the bailouts, Wabba called on the Federal Government to also put in place mechanism to monitor how the funds were utilised and also frowned at the development where some banks withheld the bailout fund as a result of the indebtedness of some the states to the banks.

NLC condemned the waiver granted to some establishments in the country which had denied the country money while workers were subjected to pay taxes, and said that nobody should be allowed to evade taxes in any form.

He urged the judiciary to hasten the trials of those indicted for looting the nation’s treasury and other allegation of treasury and also told the anti-corruption agency to always device a process to promptly responding to allegations of corruption.

NLC Commends CBN For Publishing Names Of Bank Debtors

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive to banks to publish names of chronic debtors, saying it would strengthen the economy. This was made known on Wednesday by the secretary of the NLC, Peter Eson-Ozo, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The congress said the measure would help to strengthen the nation’s economy. He said the banks did the correct thing by going ahead to heed the directive of CBN to publish names of the debtors.

He said it would be inimical to the country’s economic growth for anyone to owe banks millions of naira without paying back. “I think the banks have done well by publishing the names of debtors because it is not good for anyone to borrow money and not pay back; it endangers the economy,” he said.

The publication of the names of debtors is coming on the heels of the July 31, 2015 deadline set by the apex bank for the debtors to pay up. The debtors are to be blacklisted and banned from participating in the foreign exchange market, as well as trading in the Nigerian Government Securities market.

Read Morethisdaylive

Salary: Osun Government, Workers Meeting Deadlocked, Strike Continues

Moves aimed at ending the seven-week-old industrial action embarked upon by civil servants in Osun State over non-payment of their salaries failed to pay off over the weekend as meeting between the labour and government delegates ended in a stalemate.

Tribune Online gathered that the workers insisted that the only thing that could compel them to call off the strike is the payment of at least two months out of their seven months salaries.

Sources at the meeting held between the Chief of Staff to the governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and the labour leaders under the leadership of Comrade Jacob Adekomi, who is the chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)  at the weekend in Osogbo, the state capital, informed Tribune Online  that the government prevailed on the workers to call off the strike while the labour leaders reportedly insisted that ‘no alert, no resumption.’

According to one of the sources at the meeting, “we could safely aver that the parley was deadlocked as no agreement could be reached between the labour and the government. The  leadership of the union stood their ground that bank alert of salaries payment on their handsets of workers would determine when the strike would be called off.”

He further hinted that they told the government representative that if the workers received payment alert on their handsets on Monday, they would call the strike off and workers would resume on Tuesday and if otherwise, the strike continues.

“At Least, if two months could be paid by the government out of the accumulated seven months salaries owed, the strike will be called off for a while while pressure will be mounted to receive the remaining five months in no distant time,”the source added.

Credit –

Workers To Governors: Don’t Blow N713b Bailout Cash

Workers were yesterday in high spirits over President Muhammadu Buhari’s N713.7 billion bailout for states to pay outstanding salaries. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), hailed the president’s action. The NLC urged Buhari to ensure that the governors spend the money on salary arrears.

It warned against “a situation that the governors that could not manage their allocation properly will be rewarded by being given special recognition”.

The General Secretary of the Congress, Dr. Peter Ozon-Eson, said: “Our appeal is that Mr. President should please prevail on the governors to ensure that when they get these sharing they should not
again blow it on other things. The first priority must be defraying the arrears of salaries and pensions of pensioners who have not been paid for 11 to 12 months. ”

Ozon-Esson, who is also the NLC chief economist, said the congress was happy about the Federal Government’s intervention, recalling that the congress presented the debt profile to the Presidential Transition Committee.

In the three-pronged bailout plan is the N413.7billion special intervention fund, the N413.7b ($2.1b) Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) proceeds and a N300b Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention loan.

Federal workers who are being owed are also to benefit from the plan.

But labour officials warned the state governments against misapplying the cash.

Deputy President of the factional NLC Comrade Isah Aremu said: “President Buhari has been very vocal since he assumed office in making a case for workers to be paid as at when due.

“President Buhari once said that it is a disgrace that Nigerian states could not pay salaries. So, what he has done now is that he has commendably walked his talk. He has also shown that if there is a will, there will always be a way.

“Now, the defaulting governors must learn from the President’s approach – that you don’t have any excuse not to pay workers’ salaries. He has shown that no reason can justify why workers are not paid.

“The governors must also prioritise their needs henceforth in a way that workers are given priority and not rely on the President to give them bailout from the Federation Account”.

Aremu said labour was happy that Buhari already living up to his mandate, adding that what is important now is for it to be sustained.

The Nation

NLC Hails Saraki, Dogara, Others; Demands End To Fuel Crisis

The Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday hailed the new leadership of the National Assembly, extolling their emergence as victory for democracy.

Bukola Saraki was on Tuesday elected the President of the Senate, while Yakubu Dogara was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in a keen contest marking the formal inauguration of the 8th session of the National Assembly.

The acting President of the NLC, Kiri Mohammed, congratulated the new leadership of the two chambers of the Assembly, saying the “free, fair and transparent” way their elections were conducted was victory for democracy.

Mr. Mohammed said he was hopeful that the successful emergence of the new Assembly leadership would establish its independence and ensure that members were allowed to focus on efforts to deepen the country’s democracy and development.

The NLC leader applauded President Muhammadu Buhari especially for resisting overtures for him to interfere in the elections, saying this should serve as a lesson to all politicians, political parties and all organisations to allow democracy to run its full course without undue imposition of candidates.

“All arms of government must be allowed to function in accordance with the constitution without interference,” Mr. Mohammed said. “The National Assembly should at all times be independent.”


Fuel Scarcity: NLC Set To Order Workers To Stay Home

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday threatened to direct workers to stay at home if the fuel scarcity being experienced across the country pasisted.

The NLC Deputy National President, Isa Aremu stated this in a statement made available to NAN on Monday in Kaduna.

The NLC statement is coming barely four days before the PDP led government would handover the affairs of the nation to the new President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, May 29.

“If the Current scarcity and price robbery of Nigerians continues NLC will have no choice but compel workers to stay at home.

“Workers certainly cannot fuel themselves to work with their blood. There is limit to slavery and state marketers’ extortion.

“With an outgiong president and incoming one, five past heads of state alive, 36 state governors and hundreds of legislators and scores of ministers, no country on earth parades the highest number of state actors like Nigeria.

“Yet there is no governance with respect to distribution of basic products like petroleum and kerosene.”

According to him, it is time Nigerians stop agonising in the hands of cabals holding the nation to ransom for several weeks through deliberate deprivation of petroleum products.

“What is happening in Nigeria amounts to economicide, which is a conscious subjugation of 170 million people to economic ruination through unsustainable petroleum import-based racket.

“This is an unofficial declaration of war against the citizens by combined forces of irresponsible ruling elite and bussiness crooks.”

“This agony of capitalism must be mass resisted by all Nigerians,” he said.

NLC Faction Threatens Nationwide Strike Over ‘Chronic’ Fuel Scarcity

The Comrade Joe Ajaero faction of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described the chronic fuel scarcity being experienced across the country as war against the citizens and a conscious attempt to subject millions of Nigerians to economic suicide.

Subsequently, the faction has threatened to direct its members to embark on an indefinite strike action should the scarcity continue unabated.

According to a statement issued today and signed by the NLC Deputy President, Comrade Issa Arem?u, the labour union averred that, “Nigeria is the only country on earth which unacceptably and criminally denies its citizens basic sources of energy; fuel and electricity?”.

It, however said it was time all Nigerians stopped agonizing and rose in unison against this “agony capitalism??”.

NLC, TUC Vow To Hold Buhari, APC Accountable To “3 Million Jobs A Year” Pledge

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, on Friday in Abuja vowed to hold the incoming Muhammadu Buhari-led government accountable in respect of his party’s promises to Nigerians and workers in particular.

Mr. Buhari was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The unions made the vow at the 2015 May Day celebration with the theme: “The Working Class, Democratic Consolidation and Economic Revival: Charting the Way to National Rebirth”.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, urged the incoming administration to revive the Ajaokuta Steel complex, saying the plant was conceived to be the cornerstone of Nigeria’s industrialisation programme.

“Unfortunately, our political class has refused to accept the simple truth that no country can truly industrialise without iron and steel industry.

“The fate of Aladja, Osogbo, Jos and Katsina steel rolling mills post-privatization is too grim to recall here”, Mr. Wabba said.

Mr. Wabba advised the government which is to be inaugurated on May 29, to view development from the prism of tapping into the abundant economic potential offered by the entrepreneurial drive of Nigerians.

He said that resources were locked up in the soil and that any country “subserviently” reliant on importation, was only exporting jobs.

While urging the president-elect to pay attention to agriculture as it has the capacity to employ millions of Nigerians, Mr. Wabba said the government must also lead the way by making farming attractive to young people through the provision of agricultural inputs, equipment and other relevant infrastructure.

“There is also the need to establish a strong linkage between different sectors of our economy, especially with regard to promoting industrialisation and manufacturing.

“This will focus on turning our agricultural products and other natural resources into quality semi-processed and fully processed goods”.

On the issue of unemployment, he noted that the incoming administration had promised to create three million jobs yearly.

“Our leadership will take up all levels of government on their commitment to job creation and will not relent till we see tangible results on these scores”, he said.

He noted that the prevailing economic crunch and the devaluation of the naira has eroded the purchasing power of the Nigerian worker.

“The National Minimum Wage of N18, 000 that was negotiated in 2010 is clearly no longer of any meaningful economic value to workers.

“The five-year circle for periodic review of the National Minimum Wage is at hand.

“We wish to use this May Day celebration to give formal notice that we shall table a request for a new minimum wage for consideration soon after the new administration is sworn in”, he said.

The NLC president advised state governments and other employers of labour yet to discharge their obligations under the current national minimum wage regime to do so immediately as they were breaking the law by not complying with the provisions of the 2011 National Minimum Wage Act.

On his part, Bobboi Kaigama, the President of TUC, called the attention of the incoming government in the areas of economy, national security, anti-corruption war, national unity and cohesion, among others.

Mr. Kaigama said if the president-elect must succeed, his administration must be quick to reverse the present ratio between capital and recurrent expenditure.

We Will Fight You Over Fuel Subsidy- NLC, TUC Tell Buhari

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) seem to be gearing for war with the incoming government of General Muhammadu Buhari over fuel subsidy removal.

The two labour groups made a vow yesterday in Abuja that they would the incoming administration a fight over the plans he had been announcing on the removal of fuel subsidy when he gets into power late next month.

This position was made known by the factional Deputy President of NLC, Comrade Peters Adeyemi during a press briefing ahead of the activities of the 2015 Workers’ Day. He stated that the subsidy does not exist as it is part of the corruption the country is battling with and must see that it does not happen.

The labour body also warned the incoming administration of Buhari not to be desperate in looking for money in the wrong places. “We know it has been a contentious issue over the years. We have consistently said that there is nothing like subsidy. So it is all about corruption. If you also take your minds back to the so called removal of subsidy, it is something that numerous governments have embarked upon without an end. So who tells you that if the incoming government embarks on it, it will see to the end of removal of subsidy?” he asked.

“During Obasanjo’s government, this exercise was embarked upon about 11 times and Labour engaged the government severally. It is like the more you see, the less you see. For us in Labour, we are not going to support that, both NLC and TUC. So I hope that the incoming government in his desperation to look for money will do that. It is part of corruption. For now we do not have the disposition to support that and we are not supporting it,” he added.

He added that NLC and TUC do not have the mandate of their members to support the removal of the subsidy.

Speaking on the call by NLC to pay outstanding salaries before the May 29 handover date, Adeyemi said they have already commenced campaigns, also partnering with State Councils to make sure that the outgoing governors pay their workers before they exit office. According to him, there will be no justification for any Governor who does not pay its worker before exit.

“The NLC has already taking decisions and are working already, we have constituted task forces that will go round the states that we have identified which has refused to pay salary. Right now, we are partnering with state councils with the view of taking on those governors, we are determined to make sure that before May 29, we put in place appropriate actions that will compel those governors to do something positively on the money they owe us”.

Read More: sunnewsonline

NLC Asks Governors To Pay Salaries Before May 29

The Nigeria Labour Congress, has asked the state governors to pay outstanding salaries before the May 29 handover date. Factional Deputy President of the NLC, Peters Adeyemi, said this at the ninth National Delegates Conference of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria in Abuja.

Adeyemi said workers had commenced the campaign to prevail on the outgoing governors to pay outstanding salaries before they leave on May 29.

The National Administrative Council of the NLC had on March 19, 2015 set up a committee saddled with the responsibility of compelling state governments to pay over eight months salary arrears owed workers.

Last week, the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, himself a former President of the NLC, had urged labour to unite and compel state governors owing workers’ salaries to pay before the May 29 handover date. The congress had on December 31, 2014, said 11 states owed workers their salaries.

Read More: Punch

Ballot Boxes Hijacked and Shattered by NLC Delegates

The 11th National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress was on Thursday abruptly disrupted as aggrieved parties hijack, and smash ballot boxes being used to elect incoming leaders of the organisation, the News Agency of Nigeria is reporting.

The International Conference Centre’s venue of the conference was thrown into confusion as delegates ran for dear lives after some aggrieved contestants and their supporters suddenly became violent, hijacking and destroying ballot boxes even while voting was still underway.

The Conference, which began Tuesday, was organised to elect new leaders for the country’s central labour union following the expiration of tenure of the current executives.

It is not clear yet how the event, which had been peaceful since it began suddenly descended into crisis, but the election for the President of the Union had created tension among delegates and split them along partisan lines.

After the disruption, the police took over the venue and delegates were sent away, ostensibly to protect the facility from being vandalised.

Over 3 000 delegates commenced voting on Thursday as the General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees, Joe Ajaero and the President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Wabba Ayuba, presented themselves for election to replace Adbulwaheed Omar.

With the outcome of the delegates conference, the NLC appears to be heading for a major division.