THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said governments at all levels in Nigeria must work to ensure the cutting down of wasteful spending, to save money to pay their workers who were owed monthly salaries.
Deputy President of NLC, Peters Adeyemi, who stated this in Ado-Ekiti, also accused governors of extravagant spending and appointment of too many aides which, he said, had left their states impoverished.
Adeyemi said he led a delegation from the national secretariat of the NLC to Ekiti State on “fact-finding” and to hold talks with labour leaders in the state on the arrears of salaries owed workers and pensions and gratuities owed retirees.
According to him, the delegation had discovered that the state government had paid workers’ salaries up to April, while pensioners had been paid up to March with gratuities last paid in 2012.
Adeyemi regretted a situation where about 27 states in Nigeria were owing their workers arrears of salaries and charged the governments concerned to do something urgent about the situation and pay them without further delay.
He announced that the NLC would soon convoke a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to take decision against state governments still owing workers and pensioners arrears of legitimate benefits he saw as “unacceptable.”
Adeyemi said: “Buhari has started it with the plan to sell off some presidential jets; we have seen some world leaders travelling on commercial airlines and this is a lesson to our leaders to live within the available resources.
“Our leaders are too wasteful, our leaders are too ostentatious and they are very greedy and they don’t even care that the nation is going through a period of economic recession. I don’t know why our leaders cannot fly commercial planes rather than cruising on presidential jets.
“I also want to ask, why do our political leaders need large retinue of political aides and political almajiris and political hangers-on? They need to cut down on these overbloated aides and make use of professionals in the ministries like permanent secretaries and directors, in order to save costs.”
Adeyemi noted that the larger society was suffering from the failure of governors to pay workers which, he said, had affected landlords, traders in the market, transporters and other artisans now recording low sales over the salary crisis.
“Until we address all the waste in the system, all these problems will persist and Labour will continue to hold the leaders accountable,” Adeyemi concluded.