Chris Steven, Abuja
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has described the request to the federal government by state governments owning workers salaries to grant them bail out as a bad precedent by the affected state governments.
The labour body said such request was an indictment on the managerial capabilities of the state governors that are owing workers’ salaries.
NLC General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson who stated this in Abuja on Friday said that such bail out if must be given must be clearly worked out and must not be a dash from the federal government to the state governments.
His words: “We take the position that is states that are owing arrears of salary and even pension over this long period of time in itself is an indictment on the management capabilities of those states.
Whereas we know that there have been some fiscal crisis elicited as a result of the situation in the international oil market and the price collapsed. That has translated to lower of shares to states from the federation account. That we know but the question is salary of workers and entitlement of retirees, why should they be the one to suffer?
We have not seen in a single state where the entitlement of political class including the governors are in arrears. To begin with, they have mismanaged this process and they are responsible for redeeming by paying back what they are owing.
If in a particular case of some states they are now unable particularly where you have new governors and they therefore making proposal to the federal to bail them out to be able to tidy up this process. We think that such bail out must be clearly worked out such that the repayment terms would be clearly known. Because it cannot be a dash from the federal to them. The federal government is also being affected by the fiscal crisis.
This will be like giving free gift to cpmpensate those who have been frivolous in the management of their affairs”