The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked state governors to prioritise their activities and ensure that they use Paris Club refund to pay workers’ salaries and pension.
President of Congress, Comrade Abubakar Wabba told newsmen that governors, who have refused to pay salaries and pension were not doing so because of the lack of money, but because they have not considered the payment of salaries as a priority.
He urged workers to ensure that such governors are voted out during the next election.
Wabba said: “Most of the governors have abuse the trust of the President Muhammadu Buhari, especially those that are not paying. They will go begging that once the money is released, they will use it to pay salaries. This is about the third episode.
“The Chairman of the Governors Forum once made a promise publicly that they were going to use the money to pay salaries. Even in his own state, he did not use the money to address Labour issues. So, we are tired of this whole deceit of going to beg the President because they know he is passionate about workers and pensioners.
“They will get money and come back to do something different. In states where they are not paying salaries and pension, you have seen what is happening with the rate of crime on the increase and people dying from starvation and frustration, while kidnapping is on the increase.”
Wabba said the governors should know that it is in their own interest to pay workers and pensioners their entitlements.
He noted that social consequence of not paying is glaring in those states because of the rise in criminal activities there.
The NLC President said: “Our position usually is that they should prioritise the payment of workers and pensioners entitlement because there is no way you can have peace and development if workers entitlements are not being paid. It is arising from that that the President has continually told them to go and settle these liabilities.
“We hope that with the little commitment they have made, it will work out this time around. If they pay, fine, but if they don’t pay, they should also know that they will not receive the support of the workers and pensioners. Right now, there are about nine states that are in this situation and we use this medium to thank those governors that are paying as and when due.
“If they don’t pay, we have said it over and over again that workers should vote them out. They should know that if they don’t pay, the workers will not support them and if they pay, the workers will be happy and support them. That is the position we have taken long before now and that position has not changed.
“For governors that have done well, we have asked workers to go and support them. It is actually in their own interest to settle all categories of workers so that workers can support them and also be very productive.”