The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday revealed that the Kaduna State government was yet to pay the entitlements of the 38,000 workers disengaged from the state’s civil service, several months after they were sacked.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who made this known when a delegation from the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) office in Geneva, Switzerland paid him a visit in Abuja, also accused the federal government of not doing enough to ensure that the disengaed workers get their benefits
He said, “Kaduna state where about 38,000 workers were disengaged without respect to collective bargaining agreement and co ILO convention 87 & 98.
“None of them has been paid any benefit. Some of them have worked for 15 years, some worked for 20 years and others 25 years. The law of collective bargaining is explicit that there should be a collective agreement. All of these has been reported to the federal ministry of labour”.
Wabba who also spoke on the standard of reporting to the ILO, Wabba said contrary to comments by the minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, Nigeria failed in keeping to the labour standard as prescribed by the ILO.
He explained that on the standard of reporting, Nigeria was owing in arrears of reporting on very important standards and major conventions. Particularly conventions that has to do with freedom of association and the right to organise.
“After we returned from the ILO, I saw a statement from the ministry stating that Nigeria was reported. No that is not true, Nigeria failed to report, Nigeria has a reporting obligation every year and we have not done that and therefore we are in violation of the procedure and that must be respected and that must also be accepted.
“We have also reported on the issue of review of the labour laws, where we have actually faulted the process because the draft laws that we have are not only obsolete, but they have not actually accommodated the issues that have been raised by the committee of experts.
“Importantly is that the laws were doctored. The ministry of labour sent a letter asking us to revalidate some bills but looking at the bills, we found out that we have not participated in the process of coming up with the draft as required by law. There have been a gap in driving these processes through the standard that is advanced by ILO.
“Any process that has not followed the rules and the standards of ILO is an exercise in futility,” he said.
Sofia Amaral de Oliveria, Specialist on ILO standards and Labour Law, said the team were in Nigeria on the invitation of the government on the application of standard.
“We are here to hear your concerns and your views on the application of Labour standards in the country, and also to hear the most pressing issues from the NLC.
“The purpose of our visit here to build the capacity of the government and also other stakeholders and in the past two days we have being have the workshop,” she said