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Labour demands payment of NITEL/MTEL workers’ salary

By Victor Ahiuma-Young
ORGANISED labour in the nation’s communication and related sectors, under the umbrella of the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations, SSACTAC, has said the reported sale of the troubled Nigerian Telecommunications, NITEL Plc, and its GSM arm, MTEL, would not be completed without the payment of the workers’ salaries and benefits.

President-General of SSACTAC, Mr Adetunji Adesunkanmi, while speaking on the reported sale of the organisation, argued that the deal with New Generation would be incomplete without the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, resolving the issue of outstanding salaries and allowances of workers.

He  threatened that if the salary and allowances remained unpaid, the workers would find it difficult to allow the preferred bidder to gain entrance into the company, saying: “The bidder will not be happy if they are not allowed to see what they paid for and that could mar the transaction.”

He said SSACTAC had written to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan and the Chairman, National Council on Privatisation, on the need to resolve the workers’ issue in order to move the industry forward.

Adesunkanmi  said lack of corporate governance contributed to fall of NITEL and lamented that rather than boost activities of the organisation,  government sent it to an early comatose.

He cited Pentascope and Transcorp as an example of corporate management that ruined the organisation rather than improve it.

“NITEL was in business and doing well before the coming of Pentascope. They met one million working lines but only 200 lines were working when they left. They met one billion dollars on ground when they came in and within six months finished the money,” he said.


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