By Victor Ahiuma-Young
NIGERIA Labour Con-gress, NLC, has called on pensioners across the country to vote against any state governor still owing backlog of unpaid pension in the forthcoming general elections.
President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who spoke while addressing delegates and other guests at the 12th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of NLC in Abuja, insisted that state governors had no justification to still owe pensioners after receiving bailouts and Paris Club refunds from the Federal government.
According to him “Government workers in some states are owed arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities despite the bailout, budget support and Paris Club Refund to states. Despite the money released by the Federal Government for states to offset salary liabilities, some states refused to clear their salary arrears.
“In the past four years, the NLC embarked on a number of industrial actions in states that are owing workers arrears of salaries. The NLC organized protest marches in Imo, Kogi, Nasarawa, Oyo, Osun, Ebonyi, Kaduna and Benue states to protest the poor working conditions of workers.
“We commend the Federal Government for releasing about N1.9 trillion to state governments through bailout, budget support and Paris club refund. The release of about N1.9 trillion in the form of bailout, budget support and Paris Club Refund assisted greatly in addressing the non-payment of salary, pensions and gratuity in many states especially worker-friendly State Governors. In some few instances, the funds were diverted and the situation has not been fully addressed. A report from the EFCC and ICPC give credence to this position.
“We must not fail to commend states that applied the bailout funds for the purpose they were meant for. These states include Jigawa, Plateau, Kebbi, Katsina, Yobe, Delta, Enugu, Sokoto, Lagos, Rivers, Cross River, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Taraba among others. We shall continue to demand for accountability at all levels.”