By Tordue Salem
ABUJAâ€”THE umbrella body of steel workers and pensioners in the Country yesterday took their protest to the National Assembly against the non-payment by the Executive of arrears and severance benefits in the sector, amounting to N6.1billion.
The steel labourers who briefed the House Committee on Steel on their plight yesterday, also decried the absence of the Minister of Mines, Mrs. Dieziani Allison-Madueke at the meeting.
The President of Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Comrade M.S. Otori in a submission made available to newsmen by the Committee, said the Federal Government through its Ministry of Mines and Steel was yet to pay a balance of N1.173billion left out of the N3billion earlier earmarked by the Federal Government for arrears.
While N5.2billion was still outstanding as pension liabilities for retired steel workers at Delta Steel Mill.
â€œAn approval of over N3billion was also made for severance benefits of steel workers in Jos, Kastsna and Osogbo, Steel Rolling Mills totalling N3,294, 134,147billion, but we are yet to get this money paid as approvedâ€, Otori stated.
He, however, added that only N1.173billion of the sum was outstanding for payment.For pension liabilities, the union leader pleaded with the National Assembly to capture it in the 2010 budget so that the liabilities will be offset once and for all.