John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has kicked against the alleged ‘mass sack’ of workers by the state government.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Kaduna, the state Chairman of the congress, Ayuba Suleiman, said Kaduna State is facing serious security challenges and dwindling businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that any additional pain on the citizens will “reasonably be repulsive to conscience.”
The state NLC chairman noted that workers who were sacked in 2016 were yet to be paid their entitlements, wondering how the state government could guarantee the payment of terminal benefits of those being sacked now.
He alleged that the sacking of the workers in the state public service was done without recourse to the payment of gratuity, pointing out that Section 210 of the 1999 Constitution guarantees pension rights to workers.
According to the labour leader, “On April 6, 2021, thousands of workers in the Local Government Services of the state were issued sack letters.”
He said the N5billion state monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which is being celebrated by the state government, was achieved through the hard work of the workers in public service “whose only reward regrettably, seems to be mass sack, arbitrary/inconsistencies in salaries which most often fluctuates from month to month, thereby making it difficult for workers to plan in the face of spiraling inflation.”
Suleiman stated further that it is “worrisome that the current state leadership sees development squarely from the capitalist point of view against such crucial indices as human capital development, human right and the rule of law.
“For development to be meaningful, it must be balanced and wholesome in both human capital development, and infrastructural growth must be deliberate and as of necessity to occupy a pride of place.”
He lamented that recently, the state government “in a manner defying all rationality and logic, especially in the face of excruciating economic reality,” in a letter signed by the Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to the state governor and sent to the Head of Service “apparently preparatory to another round of mass sack in the public service of the state.”
Suleiman said the state NLC was against mass sack of workers, adding that: “Any sack of workers whose appointments are statutorily protected must be based on strict compliance with the disciplinary procedure as provided in the public service rules.”