Stop building expensive estates with workers’ money, NLC warns FMBN
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba Sunday Aborisade, Abuja5 May 2021
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, has warned the management of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to stop building estates for the super rich with funds deducted from poor workers’ salaries.
Wabba stated this on Wednesday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of an estate on an expanse of land acquired in Karshi, Nasarawa State, by the Public Complaints Commission branch of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria.
Wabba warned the FMBN to avoid a situation whereby poor homeless workers would be forced to park in to expensive houses it was building for rich men in highbrow areas, many of which he added, remained unoccupied.
The NLC boss said, “There are so many houses in Abuja today that are unoccupied.
“These are houses that were built with workers money, deducted from their meagre salaries, and yet the workers cannot afford them.
“We have told them that a time will come when they won’t need to invite people to occupy those houses because poverty will soon push us to park our loads into any empty house we see, built with deductions from our salaries.
“There is an estate built by the FMBN along the Abuja-Kaduna Road which they could not sell because they are expensive, people went there and occupied the buildings. We are getting there gradually.
“When you go round the city, just look for buildings built with workers money that are left unoccupied.
” Yes, we are getting to that point when 90 per cent of the people would be below the poverty line and the FMBN is building for the super rich who are just 10 per cent. Housing schemes must be for the 90 per cent.
“Governments in the past were building houses for workers and would later sell the apartments to them at affordable prices.
“That is the type of system that we want now. We should practice a system that takes care of everyone including the vulnerable.
“Although government said it is doing something about it but we believe whatever they are doing is not enough.
“We have enormous resources in this country that could take care of the need of everybody.
“One of the necessities of life is accommodation. It is so important because every worker wants to be a tenant but a home owner.
“One thing that consumes the income of a worker is rent. If you save your rent for 35 years, it can build a house for you.”
He, however said that the NLC was partnering with the FMBN to build affordable houses in all states of the federation so that workers could have roofs upon their heads.
He said, “Because we are stakeholders. We are social partners with the FMBN, I have set up a committee who are meeting with the Managing Director of the FMBN and his other officials to try to look at how workers could benefit from what they are contributing.
“The money does not belong to the FMBN. It belongs to the workers because the funds are deducted from their salaries,” he added.
The Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Chille Igbawua, and top officials of PASAN said the Karshi estate project will help cushion the effect of accommodation problems of the PCC staff.
AUPCTRE CELEBRATES WORLD WATER DAY
AUPCTRE today join the rest of the world to celebrate the World Water Day. “Water is Life” remains the popular slogan. According to United Nations (UN) statistics, it is unfortunate today that over 2.2 billion people are living around the world without access to safe water. Therefore, this calls for a need for every Country, every Organization and every Individual to take appropriate action in tackling the global water crisis.
Today, water is under extreme threat of privatization and climate change and therefore could not meet up with the demands of ever growing population which calls for increase in demand of the use of water in various industries, farming, transportation, power generation and domestic uses. As societies tries to balance the demands on Water Resources, many people’s interest are not being taken into consideration especially at the community level.
The theme of the 2021 World Water Day is “VALUING WATER”. AUPCTRE reflect deeply on the theme to see Water as a very important part of our lives, right from drinking to other purposes. Water plays an imperative role in our day to day lives. The Union therefore wonders why many Nigerians are left without safe and affordable drinking Water.
For us as a Union, we believe that government needs to value the positive impact of water by providing potable and affordable drinking water for Nigerians.
The critical question the Union poses today is how do you value water? This is determined by how it is managed and shared. The significant of water is interlinked between households, culture, health, sanitation and the integration of our natural environment.
According to the United Nations, if we overlook any of these values of water, we risk mismanaging this finite and irreplaceable resources.
AUPCTRE therefore, use this auspicious occasion to call on the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to refuse the reconsideration of the Water Bill 2020 that has been thrown out before them as that bill is capable of undermining the value of water which by extension, contradict the 2021 theme of World Water Day Celebration.
The continuous sinking of Boreholes at every corner of Nigeria also constitute serious future danger on the land as that could result in life threatening natural disaster as is being witness in some part of the world today. This can only be curtailed if Government stand by its responsibility to the citizenry by providing affordable drinking water as well as for domestic and industrial usage.
AUPCTRE is also using this occasion to condemn in totality the actions of many State Governments in Nigeria who intentionally abandoned water infrastructure in other to pave a way to sell them to their cronies / cohorts in the name of privatization.
There has been series of attempts to privatize water under the unholy slogan of Public Private Partnership (PPP). The union view this process as a plan to put our common wealth into private pocket. Privatization in whatever guise, whether, concessioning, corporatization, leasing etc. has never work in Nigeria. It only aggravates and compound our ever compounded crisis caused by the ruling class.
The Union therefore calls on Governments at all levels to explore the system of Public Public Participation (PuP) as an alternative to Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a way of coming out of the doldrums of Water scarcity in Nigeria.
AUPCTRE therefore join the world to wish you all happy 2021 Water Day celebration.
Sikiru Waheed General Secretary
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 24TH PLENARY SESSION OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNING COUNCIL (NGC) MEETING OF AMALGAMATED UNION OF PUBLIC CORPORATIONS, CIVIL SERVICE TECHNICAL AND RECREATIONAL SERVICES EMPLOYEES (AUPCTRE) HELD ON THURSDAY 11TH AND FRIDAY 12TH MARCH, 2021 AT HOTELS SUNSHINE ENUGU, ENUGU STATE.
The 24th Plenary Session of the National Governing Council (NGC) meeting of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employee (AUPCTRE) was held at Hotels Sunshine Enugu, Enugu State from Thursday 11th to Friday 12th March, 2021 to deliberate on issues of interest to her members, Nigerian Workers and the nation in general. The theme of the meeting is “COVID – 19 AND THE CHANGING WORLD OF WORK”.
The meeting was attended by the following:
- The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi ably represented by the State Honourable Commissioner for Labour and Employment, Hon. Uche Ogbonna.
- Enugu State Head of Service ably represented by the Permanent Secretary Head of Service Office, Dr. (Mrs) Chinwe Anibueze .
- The Managing Director, Federal Housing Authority ably represented by the Deputy General Manager, Human Resources, Mr. Omole I. Samuel.
- All members of National Executive Council (NEC).
- All Chairpersons and Secretaries of the 36 State Councils, FCT Abuja, Federal Organ Lagos and the National Coordinating Committees of the Union.
- Members of the National Women Commission
- Some Veterans of the Union.
The NGC-In-Session deliberated extensively on the Socio-economic and Political challenges affecting the Nigerian workers, the downtrodden masses and the Nigeria Nation at large.
After exhaustive and critical deliberations, the two days meeting of the NGC resolved as follows:
- EDUCATION PROGRAMME
The NGC-In-Session commends the National Leadership for their foresight and the timely conduct of an education programme for NGC members and Veterans with the theme “COVID-19 AND THE CHANGING WORLD OF WORK” and encourages the leadership to continue in their efforts at training and retraining until all members of AUPCTRE are trained.
- COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
The NGC-In-Session applauds the Federal Government of Nigeria for the speed at which Public enlightenment is provided to the Public and vulnerable Nigerians to curtail the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 Pandemic but cautioned that the campaign should not be politicized or turned to a money making jamboree for any individual or groups.
The NGC-In-Session equally warned that Government and other employers of labour should not leverage on COVID-19 to relieve workers of their work or slash workers’ salary and wages.
- STATE OF INSECURITY IN NIGERIA
The NGC-In-Session frowned seriously at the alarming rate of kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, ritual killings and other Social vices that have permeated the very fabric of this Nation. The NGC observed the lackadaisical attitude of Government to arrest the situation and other precautionary measures aimed at curbing the incidence which have caused a shameful kidnapping of a whole family across the States of the Federation.
NGC-In-Session, therefore, calls on Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Security matters in Nigeria.
- PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
The NGC-In-Session observed with dismay the trends of privatization of Public Utilities in Nigeria with utter disregard to Public interest. This policy privatization is derived from the neo-liberal economic policy sponsored by World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) tailored towards Public Private Partnership (PPP).
NGC-In-Session further observed that the Privatization agenda of the ruling class is to convert the common Wealth of Nigeria to Private ownership. NGC-In-Session therefore advocates for Public Public Partnership (PuP) as an alternative to PPP and calls on Government to reverse this treacherous agenda as most of the organisations already privatized have only resulted in loss of jobs and untold hardship for Nigerians.
- NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES BILL
The NGC-In-Session condemns in totality the intents and contents of the National Water Resources Bill which will regulate the use of Water in Nigeria and take away ownership of all Water from the Nigeria masses to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The NGC-In-Session resolved to collaborate with Community leaders, interest groups Civil Society Organisations and social partners to ensure that the anti-peoples bill does not see the light of the day.
- SLASHING OF SALARIES BY SOME STATE GOVERNMENTS
The NGC-In-Session observes that some State government indulging in unilaterally slashing of workers salary at the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic which has also affected the economic condition of workers and their Unions. This action contravenes the Nigeria Labour Laws and International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention on equal pay for equal work done.
The NGC-In-Session therefore sends a warning signal to such erring States as continuation of such policy will invoke the collective strength of labour force.
- ANTI-WORKERS POSTURE OF THE MANAGEMENT OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION(CAC)
The NGC-In-Session condemns in totality the punitive transfer of workers, anti-union posture and gangsterism of the Registrar – General of CAC.
The meeting specifically frowns as the idea of forcing a Director Trade Unions on employees as the case is in CAC. The NGC posit that Trade Unionism is Voluntary in line with Trade Unions (Amendments) act of 2005 and therefore, no Management, including that of CAC, can decide which Union a worker should belong.
The NGC-In-Session therefore calls on the Registrar General and Management of CAC to reverse the punitive transfer meted out on Union leaders or face the collective weight of Nigeria Workers as that action constitute an affront on Labour Laws and contravenes International Labour Orgnisation (ILO) Conventions ratified by Nigeria.
- DEPLORABLE STATE OF NIGERIA ROADS:
The NGC-In-Session frowns at the deplorable State of Nigerian Roads which have caused serious and avoidable ghastly road accidents resulting in loss of lives, properties and even permanent deformity.
The NGC meeting therefore, calls on Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on these bad roads to safe the lives of Nigerians.
- DELISTING OF MINIMUM WAGE FROM EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATIVE LIST TO CONCURRENT LIST
The NGC-In-Session is worried at the legislative gangsterism exhibited by the so called Honorable Garba Datti Muhammed representing Sabon-gari Federal Constituency Kaduna State, sponsoring the removal of legislation of Minimum Wage from Exclusive Legislative List to Concurrent list, an action which is seen as a sponsored collaborative affront on Nigeria working class and Nigeria Masses.
The NGC-In-Session is therefore calling on the Senate President, Speaker of House of Representatives, our Distinguished Senators, all Honourable members representing all Nigerian to disregard the bill as it runs contrary to the views of Public Opinion.
- ANTI WORKERS POSTURE OF IMO STATE GOVERNMENT
The NGC-In-Session is worried over the anti-workers posture of the Government of Imo State towards workers welfare. The Meeting expressed surprise at the unwarranted occupation of the premises of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) with thugs where 13 industrial Unions including AUPCTRE were bar from entering their offices for the past two months.
The NGC also condemned the action of Government for its utter refusal to pay third party deductions including Union dues with the aim of crippling the unions. NGC-In-Session therefore calls on NLC and Organised Labour, Civil Society Organisation to occupy Imo State so that Imo State Workers could be free from the bondage of the government. Similarly, the NGC-In-Session condemns non-payment of salaries to over 10,000 workers from February, 2020 to date, as well as the non payment of pensions to over 5,000 pensioners from March, 2020 to date. The NGC-In-Session therefore calls on Government to pay up all outstanding entitlement to workers without further delay.
- COMMENDATION OF AUPCTRE LEADERSHIP
The NGC-In-Session, having observed the numerous improvements in the operations and Organisations of the Union in recent time, applauds the leadership of the Union under the Leadership of Comrade Benjamin Anthony for a well deserved complement and therefore passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the Union.
- RIVERS STATE TRANSPORT COMPANY
The NGC-In-Session condemns in totality the shutting down of Rivers State Transport Company by Rivers State Government for the past one year thereby throwing our members out of job. The NGC-In-Session frowned at this action and therefore calls on the Government to reopen the transport company to allow the workers resume work to ease the transportation problems facing the workers and citizens of Rivers State.
- NON IMPLEMENTATION OF MINIMUM WAGE AND UNDER PAYMENT OF SALARY IN PARASTATALS IN ENUGU STATE
The NGC-In-Session condemns in strong terms the unfriendly labour practice of the Management of Enugu State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (ERUWASSA) whereby unapproved salary scale were paid to workers of the Agency.
The NGC-In-Session therefore calls on Enugu State Government to immediately commence the payment of Minimum Wage in the Parastatals as well as implementing the approved circular on Minimum Wage to workers of ERUWASSA.
14. APPOINTMENT OF GENERAL SECRETARY
Based on the recommendation of National Executive Council (NEC), the NGC-In-Session approved the appointment and confirmation of Comrade Sikiru T. Waheed, as the substantive General Secretary of AUPCTRE.
The NGC-In-Session expresses appreciation to the people and Government of Enugu State for hosting this great meeting and commends the State Government for the enormous developmental works done in the Coal City.
BENJAMIN ANTHONY SIKIRU T. WAHEED
NATIONAL PRESIDENT GENERAL SECRETARY
Workers mobilize colleagues to rescue CAC staff from tyranny, NLC give’s matching order to picket LABOUR
Workers mobilizes colleagues to rescue CAC staff from tyranny,NLC give’s matching order to picket the commission over anti-union activities
Workers across Ministries, Department and agencies are mobilizing their colleagues, set to rescue CAC staff from the alleged tyrannical leadership, NLC give’s matching order to picket the commission
The picketing will take effect from Wednesday 24, February 2021 at the premises CAC in Abuja and others across the country over the management’s anti- union activities.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba who said this at the congress’ meeting declared that “the right to belong to a trade union of choice by workers is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and relevant sections of the Trade Union Act.”
He disclosed further that conventions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organisation which Nigeria ratified upon attaining independence amply protects the fundamental rights of workers to organise, join trade unions of their choice and freely enter into collective bargaining with employers in the public and in the private sectors of the economy.
Waba said: “Of recent, we have witnessed an upsurge in attack against trade union rights by some organizations in Nigeria. First is the corporate irresponsibility of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) which management has introduced very draconian measures to stifle trade unions and workers rights in the establishment.
“The management has institutionalized a practice of punitive transfers and other forms of punishment against trade union leaders and workers who dare speak up for their rights in the CAC. Many members of AUPCTRE have been affected in this wise. Also, the management of CAC has refused to remit check off dues accruing to AUPCTRE.
“This is aimed at killing unionism in CAC. In order to cover their tracks, the management of CAC has also tried to introduce divide and rule tactics between the unions in CAC.
“The management of CAC also attempts to adorn its industrial tyranny with a robe of officialdom by taking AUPCTRE to court. Our response as Organized Labour is simple – we will picket CAC for three days as a warning to other employers who desire to tow CAC’s line of perfidy. Our message is very clear – no one can take away the rights of workers and trade unions to organise, unionise and engage in collective bargaining.”
The NEC re-echoed that the fundamental rights to peaceful assembly and protests by citizens is a universal right that should never be breached. NEC, therefore, took a very strong stance against the rising waves of anti-union practices by some employers in Nigeria.
“In the case of the Corporate Affairs Commission, the NEC resolved to mobilize the strength of the Nigerian workforce to picket the national headquarters of the CAC for three days”.
Meanwhile, the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) has described the move by NLC as an open invitation to anarchy.
In a letter addressed to the minister of Industry, trade and investment, Oyunba Niyi Adebayo, the association said the entire membership of SSASCGOC who are affiliate of Trade Union Congress are all waiting and warming up.
The letter which was signed by the general secretary, Comrade Ayo Olorunfemi, accused NLC of deploring the instrumentality of academic exercise and threats, in fruitless attempt to set aside the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction through the back door.
He, however, urged the minister to call a meeting of the NLC/AUPCTRE, TUC/SSASGOC, Registrar General CAC, EFCC, DSS ICPC and Federal Ministry of Labour a view to uncovering the problem.
Breaking: NLC set to shutdown operations of CAC from Wednesday
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have resolved to mobilize the strength of the Nigeria workforce to picket the National Headquarters of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) at the expiration of 14 days ultimatum’ effective from Wednesday, February 24-26, 2021
According to communiqué signed by Comrade Ayuba Waba NLC President, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja General Secretary and made available to Aluta News in Abuja on Sunday
They Apex body of the Nigeria Labour Unions has berated the management of CAC for an attempt to kill unionism in the establishment through punitive transfer of trade Union executive,withholding of workers salaries and refusal to remit statutory deductions
The NLC also frowned at the anti-labour practices by Alhaji Garba Abubakar Registrar General of the CAC
Recalled that the National body of AUPCTRE led by Comrade Benjamin Anthony had made frantic effort to dialogue with CAC management but failed
The CAC RG has ignored every avenue of dialogue and peaceful resolution provided by AUPCTRE which eventually led to the Apex body taking over the dispute with the hope of having amicable resolution’ but also yielded no result because the CAC RG continue to remain adamant and firm with his alleged tyrannical agenda!!
Aluta News reports that the branch Union, among other issues, accused CAC management of unilaterally restricting staff vacancies against the recommendations of the committee on the commission’s oganogram, and particularly expressed disgust at the “unjustified barring of certain categories of staff from writing promotion examination”.
It also accused management of stopping all staff loans, hasty, draconian and unilateral decision making leadership style, and denial of 2019 promotion arrears to deserving workers.
It also accused management of stopping salaries of workers even before queries were issued, at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of addressing the Union grievances the Registrar General CAC transferred all the 25 executive and members of the Union to a new station.
Sensitization, mobilization currently ongoing in all branches of AUPCTRE and others affiliates of NLC toward ensuring a successful picketing of CAC National Headquarters.
BREAKING: Oyo water corporation staff suspend strike, resume Thursday 18
Workers of Water Corporation of Oyo State (WCOS), according to the information authoritatively reaching City Hill News, have suspended their indefinite strike.
It would be recalled that the indefinite strike was begun on Monday 15 due to what they referred to as insensitivity of government to their demands.
The demands being agitated for by the workers of water corporation included but limited to outstanding deductions of salaries, tools and chemicals to provide water for the residents of the state and appointment of a new general manager.
Our source informed that the strike has been suspended and the striking staff have been directed to resume work on Thursday 18 following the agreement reached between the labour leaders and the state government.
CHN learnt that Comrade Ibrahim Muhammed, the state secretary of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Technical & Recreational Emoloyees (AUPCTRE) and other representatives of WCOS staff have been in talks with the Oyo State Government since 4pm of Tuesday 16.
Oyo Water staff protest poor funding, seal secretariat
The staff of the Water Corporation in Oyo State, yesterday, blocked all entrances of the secretariat complex, Agodi, Ibadan, protesting non-remittance of cooperative deductions from their salaries and non-payment of arrears by the state government.
The workers demanded an increase in monthly subvention, recruitment of workers and appointment of substantive general manager for the corporation, safety of lives and property, and payment of outstanding deductions, amongst others.
The protest led to gridlock around the secretariat premises, creating chaos as both motorists and pedestrians had a hard time gaining entry.
The angry staff carried placards with various inscriptions such as, “Where is one billion nairas meant for chemicals?” “Save workers of water corporation from hunger and poverty,” and “Don’t kill water corporation.”
The workers had, a few weeks ago, begun an indefinite strike to press home their demands. Speaking with newsmen, the secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, and also the state secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ibrahim Muhamed, called on Governor Seyi Makinde to wade into the matter.
He said there was the need for the governor to appoint a new General Manager for the corporation to fully address their demands.
He said: “In Oyo State, workers of the Amalgamated Union are showing their displeasure at the state government for not honoring the demands and some of the demands are, deductions which are rights of workers, have not been paid; there is no provision of chemicals for the corporation to produce water for the good people of Oyo State.
“We heard that the state government even approved N1billion for procurement of chemicals and we don’t know where the N1billion is and where the chemicals are,” he said.