Friday, March 24, 2023

Organized labour in Niger State threatens to embark on strike over govt’s plans to obtain loan to fund LG election

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tiamin rice

The organized labour in Niger State has threatened to embark on strike if the state government fails to meet its demand before obtaining a loan facility to fund the November 10 local government elections in the state.

In a letter addressed to the governor and sighted by DAILY NIGERIAN, the organized labour stated that it was reliably informed of the state government’s plans to coarse the council charmen to consent to the proposal.

The letter, “titled Assessing Loan To Fund LGA Election In Niger State” and signed by the chairmen of six labour unions including, NLC and TUC, expressed surprise by the decision of the state government.

They said it was unthinkable that the government would consider borrowing to fund the election despite knowing the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs’ dire financial situation as a result of reckless borrowing.

The labour leaders who signed the letter include Idrees Lafene, State NLC chairman; Salihu Mohammed, State NLC secretary; Anna Simon, chairman, NANNM; Abdullahi Erena, chairman, NMHWUN; Abubakar Takuma, NASU; Adamu Akayago, NUT; Ibrahim Gana, TUC, among others.

“The organized labour is shocked by the proposal because the present financial predicament of the Ministry for Local government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs is caused by this type of reckless borrowing.

“The organized labor is also seriously shocked that the Niger State Government can consider borrowing to fund election without defraying the accumulated debts owed civil servant and retirees in the state, some of which were part of the issues in contention in the organized labor labor industrial action that was suspended on Thursday, March 24, 2022.”

It further added that after extensive deliberation on the matter, it requested the government to settle the following debts and liabilities:

“Immediate defrayment of arrears of percentage of salaries paid to workers in LGA for the months of April, may, June, July, august, September, October, November, December 2021, January and February 2022.

“Immediate defrayment of four 4 months’ salary arrears owed newly recruited teachers in the state.

“Immediate defrayment of October 2020 pensions arrears owed workers and retirees across 25 LGAs of the state.

“Immediate resumption in the payment of gratuities to desirable pensioners in the state and LGAs.

“Immediate implementation of promotion and annual step increments to desirable workers at the states and LGAs levels.

“Immediate upwards review of salaries of teachers in the state and LGAs.

“Immediate payment of annual leave grants to desirable workers at the state and local governments.

“Defrayment of unremitted deduction made from salaries of civil servants in favor of the National Housing Scheme and CPS.

“The organized labour condemns the decision of the government in this entries and may be forced to public with facts on the debts owed workers.

“On the strength of the foregoing, the SAC passionately appeal to Niger state government to prioritizes the defrayment of the enumerated demands in the interest of the industrial harmony else the organized labour would be left with no other option than to down tool without further delay.”

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