By EMEKA MAMAH
The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, and the Industrial Global Union have blamed general state of insecurity in almost all parts of the country on socio-economic policies of the Federal and state governments.
This was contained in an open letter to the governors of the 19 northern states now meeting in Kaduna State.
The letter was signed by the General Secretary of NUTGTWN and Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Issa Aremu.
Aremu who expressed concern over the security challenges facing the country, however, regretted that the northern governors were exacerbating the problem by their inability to either re-open some textile companies jointly owned by them or pay the outstanding allowances of the textile works in the last 10 years.
’’We commend the Northern Governors’ Forum, NGF, under the chairmanship of His Excellency, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, governor of Niger State for the effort to address the security challenges in the North.
“We also commend the commitment of other northern governors towards sustainable peace and development of the Northern states.
’’However, sustainable development of any country or state lies in industrialisation and mass job creation. The root of the current crisis in the country is both economic and social.
’’It is against this background that the union is disturbed by the continuous closure of Kaduna Textiles Limited,KTL, since 2002.
“Even more worrisome is the continuous delay in settlement of the entitlements of KTL workers by its owner. KTL workers are suffering untold hardship due to non-payment of their benefits amounting to N687, 073,346, since the unilateral closure of the factory in 2002.”
Aremu, in the letter, continued: ’’In March 2013, the NGF set up a committee of five governors headed by the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed with governors of Zamfara, Kano, Bauchi and Borno states as members. The report of the committee is yet to see the light of the day.
’’We again call on the Northern Governors and the management of KTL to settle the terminal benefits of KTL workers.
“We equally call on the management of other closed textile factories in the North, particularly Arewa Textiles Plc and Gaskiya Textiles, Kano to settle the entitlements of their workers without further delay in order to reduce the workers’ destitution, poverty and desperation.”