TEN states have misspent the bail out funds and the Paris Club refund, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said yesterday.
The NLC made good its threat to “Name and Shame” states that refused to pay workers or make public the bailout funds and the Paris Club refund they got.
The congress also warned the government against approving another increase in electricity tariff, saying it will mobilise its affiliates, social partners and other Nigerians to resist any further increase when Nigerians were yet to get a good service foe the previous increase, which has been declared illegal by the court.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba, who spoke at the National Executive Council meeting of the Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) in Abuja, said six of the 10 states were in a terrible situation, pointing out that the congress had directed all states chapters whose members are owed more than three months salaries to declare an industrial action.
While reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s disappointment with the governors over the utilisation of the funds, Wabba had told The Nation that the congress was compiling a list of governors who failed to spend the funds on workers’ salaries.
Wabba said: “Out of the 36 states, we have 10 bad case scenario and out of this 10, we have six terrible ones. We have promised to name and shame them.
Those states include Imo that has been paying workers salaries in percentage and has not declared utilisation of the bail out fund and Paris Club refund. It is part of the states that ICPC has mentioned in fund diversion.“They paid 40 percent pension to their pensioners without their consent and provided a form for them to sign under duress. That is not allowed in law.
We have Bayelsa, which has between five to 10 months arrears.
Ondo is owing between four and six,
Ekiti (five to eight),
Benue (five to eight) and
Kogi, which is the worst case scenario. “We have three categories of workers in Kogi. We have 40 per cent that are being paid up to date, we have 25 per cent that has not been paid between eight and 16 months and another 25 per cent that has not been paid between eight and 21 months. In all, the sectors, they have categorised the workers into three categories.
“We also have the case of Osun which is also paying in percentage, but is up to date.
“We have the case of Zamfara, which is the only state that has not implemented the minimum wage and all attempt (including agreements they have signed) to get them to make available records of utilisation of those funds have failed.
The last one is, Abia which has a problem with the parastatals. On the average, other states are above board.
The NLC chief went on: “As I speak to you, both Zamfara and Benue are on strike and I am aware that Kogi has issued a notice, which is in conformity with the decision we took at our last NEC meeting that any state with liability of more than three months should start an action and we will be there to support them.”
Speaking on the statement credited to the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Power that one of the problem in the power sector was low electricity tariff, Wabba said workers will not accept any further increase in tariff.
Culled from The Nation Newspaper