NLC Protest

Stop Giving Bailouts to Governors, Labour Tells PMB

Organised labour in the country yesterday implored President Muhammadu Buhari not to release further bailout funds to governors of the 36 states of the federation until they are made to account for the funds already released to them.

The workers under the auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) also vowed to begin massive protests in states that have refused to use the bailouts funds released to them by the federal government to settle workers’ salaries.

A delegation of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) were at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday where they met with President Buhari to demand for the release of the 50 per cent balance of the Paris Club refund to states.

Chairman of the forum and Zamfara State governor, Abdulazeez Yari, told journalists after the meeting with the president that the governors came to plead with Buhari as the father of the nation to see to it that the 50 per cent balance of the Paris Club refund is paid to the states not later than next month in order to enable them factor the money into their 2018 budgets.

At the meeting with the governors, President Buhari had bitterly expressed his displeasure with the inability of some of the state governors to pay workers as well as pensioners their salaries and pensions, despite the bailouts given to them.

President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who spoke to Leadership on the development yesterday, said the president has shown clearly that he understands the plights of the workers.

In a telephone chat, Wabba said, “We understand that their going to the president was to ask for further bailouts but clearly this has shown that it is not about just releasing money to them. They must first give account of what has been released to them.

“Let me give you an instance, Jigawa State did not access the bailouts and the state government does not owe salary or pension. But look at Bayelsa State; despite its 13 per cent derivation and bailouts funds released, it is still owing workers. The president must ask for proper audit of funds already released”.

He declared that the workers will fully mobilise to shutdown activities in states he accused of deliberately not taking the plights of workers seriously.

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