El-Rufa’i Dares Organized Labour, Warns Kaduna Workers Over Payroll Verification

Nasir El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Government yesterday chided organised labour for threatening to shut down the state if the government failed to stop ongoing verification of workers.

Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’i in a statement issued by his media aide, Samuel Aruwan, on Monday in Kaduna, warned that any worker that failed to participate in the verification exercise would be removed from payroll.

El-Rufa’i insisted that the verification, which has saved the state about N500 million monthly since it began last June, was compulsory, as it would aid the administration in updating its pay record.

On labour’s threat to go on strike, the governor noted that “public servants first became employees before they became union members.

“Cooperation with the employer to verify the status of every worker is expected. It cannot be made a reason for industrial action.

“Refusal to participate in verification will result in the concerned persons being removed from the payroll.

“The labour leadership seems to be afraid that workers will opt-out of joining unions.

“If that be the case, the unions should seek ways to increase their attraction to workers, including persuading them to opt for continued membership.

“Inciting workers against a legitimate process of updating their personnel records is counter-productive”.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress in the state had urged workers to ignore government’s directive to indicate whether to belong to unions or not.

The labour unions said on Saturday that they regarded the exercise as a deliberate attempt to muzzle labour movement in the state.