Nigerian Labour Congress asks for international blacklist of governors who owe workers salaries

NIGERIA Labour Congress (NLC) officials plan to ask the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC) to place the names of governors in states where workers are being owed salaries and pensions for several months on a watch list.


In February, Nigeria goes to the polls during which 30 of the country's 36 governors will be facing election, with many of them seeking second terms in office. At the moment, many of these governors owes a huge backlog of salary arrears, going back 12 months in some cases but despite this, many governors have been able to fund their election campaigns.


NLC is affiliated to the ITUC, the world’s largest trade union federation and plans to use its influence to put these governors under pressure. Formed on November 1, 2006, out of the merger of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labour, the ITUC seeks to look after the welfare of workers worldwide.


Speaking at the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) 17th anniversary in Abuja yesterday, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC president, said that governors who owes workers will be blacklisted. He added that aside  from naming and shaming these governors, the NLC would soon direct Nigeria workers to monitor various airports in the country to stop such governors who may have completed their term from fleeing the country


Mr Wabba added: “We will instruct workers at the nation’s airports to disallow and disgrace any governors trying to leave the country in order to enjoy themselves overseas. We have issued statements to these governors owing salaries, informing them that they cannot go anywhere to enjoy the monies they have carted away.


“They will be disgraced and chased away. Instead of using the money to make life good and build the country for the good of everybody, a few elites will embezzle what is meant for all for their personal use.”


He assured pensioners that the NLC would not relent it its efforts to ensure the issue of a minimum pension alongside the minimum wage, was addressed. Mr Wabba added that if the government must address the issue of pensioners, it must address the welfare of pensioners, which he said would ensure that workers desist from looting.


In his speech, Mr Wabba commended President Muhammad Buhari for the payment of pensions arrears for the Nigeria Airways workers and the 33% increment in the national pension. In September, the federal government approved the sum of N45bn ($124m) to fund severance packages for staff of the defunct Nigeria Airways which folded in 2005.