- Many countries want Nigeria to disintegrate out of envy, says Wabba
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said all state councils where salary liabilities of up to three months exist will apply no pay, no work’ rule.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, made this known when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum yesterday in Abuja.
“We have given instructions to all of our state councils that where there is liability of salary up to three months, they should also apply the rule of ‘no pay, no work’ it is not only ‘no work, no pay’.
“You can also apply the rule in a reverse order of `no pay, no work’ and that is legitimate because the law provides that after 30 days of working, the worker is entitled to be paid.
“How can we encourage people that have put in their best or even those that are still in the system trying to put in their best without addressing this very fundamental issue?
“Those are the situations we have found ourselves across states and across different employments; I feel very sad with that situation but I think we will do all we can within our means and power to try to continue to protect all those workers.’’
He said workers must be seen as an asset to our county instead of shifting all the challenges to the workers.
“The challenges have been there; instead of looking inward to try to address these challenges, the bulk of the issue have been shifted to the workers and that is why I think that you can effectively say that yes these workers are under attack.’’
Wabba said NLC held a meeting with the state councils, where they took inventory of the liability of pension, gratuity and salaries, adding that the data was alarming.
“When you see the data of how much it stands today of liabilities that workers have not been paid, the worst is that of gratuity which some states have a liability of up to 10 years.
“Workers have worked for 30 or 35 years in service; they retired following the normal process but yet after retirement, they were not paid a dime.
“Therefore, it is like they were slaves; It is only slave that will work and not be paid his entitlement.
He decried a situation where the political leaders do not see the payment of workers’ salaries as important but rather they see it as a waste.
The president noted that some governors would prefer to award bogus contracts rather than pay workers their wages.
He noted that everywhere in the world workers were seen and placed appropriately for them to contribute their quota.
According to him, due to the neglect and non-payment of workers’ salaries, productivity has been at the lowest point.
Wabba said “most countries” are unhappy that Nigeria is the giant of Africa, and will therefore be happy to see the country disintegrate.
He therefore urged Nigerians not to succumb to external forces working very hard to break up the country.
Wabba said that the country’s size, population and natural endowments are assets that many other nations are envious of.
He expressed optimism that the current security challenges and agitations “being fuelled and funded by forces determined to undermine Nigeria” would be surmounted.
He said: “Our position is that we will not canvass the issue of cannibalizing Nigeria into segments for any reason or any consideration”
“It is in unity that our strength lies as a country. We are today the giant of Africa; most countries are not happy with that. They will do anything possible to undermine our national interest and also work towards the disintegration of Nigeria.
“That is a fact, and we see that as we travel around the world. Even within the committee of unions, people are envious of Nigeria. We must not forget how people said Nigeria was going to break by 2015 and you must not forget that they are still working on that.
“They are still funding all manner of things and trying to see that Nigeria does not actually have peace; it is deliberate. There is no resource today in the world that we do not have; they see us as a country that is blessed without measure.”
Wabba added that some African countries are concerned that if anything happens to Nigeria, their own fate becomes uncertain.
“Most of these conflicts are instigated,” he said, citing the situation in Syria and other parts of the Middle East.
“Therefore, it is in our own collective interest as Nigerians — because we do not have any other country — to continue to show the light and perspective for others to see.”