The Secretary General of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, raised the issue of non-payment of workers’ salaries by many states across Nigeria.
Aremu, who is also the Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), shared his concern with journalists in Kaduna during a NUTGTWN meeting, TheNation reports.
He tagged the situation as a wage robbery and theft and an economic crime. According to the information by NLC VP, for about three months now, 22 state governors are delaying or refusing to pay salaries.
However, Aremu noted that the delegates of the just-concluded primaries across Nigeria’s states had received their money immediately.
“… Nigeria labour law says thou shall pay the worker as at when due. In fact by 22nd of every month you must have pay the workers fully.
“We never heard of any delegate being owed a single penny during the primary elections, but they cannot get money to pay the workers,” he said.
The NUTGTWN SG reminded that some of the delegates have earned enough to buy new vehicles and even real estate after taking part in the primaries. The money they got in a couple of days is simply incomparable to the sums earned by workers.
“The governors should go to the place they got they money to pay delegates and settle the workers’ salaries,” Aremu stated.
He also noted the NUTGTWN was a success in negotiating a 15% increase in wages for its members. This meant a 35% growth in the last 4 years.
The NUTGTWN SG hopes that this positive trend from the private sector would be used for the public sector. He reminded that “most of their crisis is on the increase of wages and salaries which has been causing endless strikes and unfavourable industrial actions.”
It would be recalled that the Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala promised on December 22 that the three months’ salaries of civil servants of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies shall be paid before Christmas.
The situation with the salaries of Lagos State civil servants also looks satisfactory. The State government promised them a holiday bonus on December 19, 2014, Friday.