NLC Replies Okupe Over Call For Workers’ Retrenchment

NLC Replies Okupe Over Call For Workers’ Retrenchment
…says workers salaries, allowances not responsible for states’ woes 
Chris Steven, Abuja
The former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Information, Dr. Doyin Okupe as drawn the ire of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over his advice to state governors to retrench civil servants as a panacea to irregular payments of salaries.
Dr. Okupe had few days ago said governors should resort to laying off workers arguing that “virtually all state governments have over- bloated ‎civil service.”
He said between “2008 and 2009, Ogun State received N2 billion monthly from the federation account and paid out N1.8billion as staff salaries, wages and overhead costs” to civil servants not more than 50,000 in a state with a population of 5,000,000.
This, he described as an obvious socio-economic absurdity and incongruity…  where 10 percent  of the population was consuming 90 percent of the wealth of the state”.
But in a reaction to this advice, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said the former Presidential Assistant  was bandying political statistics which he said is neither good for his health nor the health of those with whom he seeks to ingratiate himself.
The NLC President also challenged him to disclose how much his monthly gross was before President Obasanjo showed him the door even as he added that he  should also be patriotic enough to let Nigerians know what he did before his disorderly exit.
He said that the Congress  believes in the equitable distribution of the nation’s resources noting that it would not subscribe to a situation whereby 10 per cent corners 90 percent of the resources of the state.

 The NLC President, who urged Dr. Okupe todo a forensic audit of what Ogun got, what it paid to civil servants, contractors and politicians as well as what  it used in running the Government House said he has fallen for political statistics as he has always done.

Okupe “does not need a soothsayer or an economic guru to tell” him truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth.  If he falls for statistics like this, he will fall for anything, like  he has done all his life.

At NLC, we do not believe staff salaries and allowances are reason(s) why the economy of the states are in shambles.”

Comrade Wabba argued that NLC  earnestly believed that the states are where they are because of serial acts of corruption in the past, failure to save for a rainy day, high cost of governance (via employment of unneeded aides on criminally high salaries), unlawful and equally unacceptable severance packages for ex-governors and their deputies, cost of political expediency, failure to invest, etc.  

“By the way, we would want Okupe to let us know how much his monthly gross was before President Obasanjo showed him the door.  He should also be patriotic enough to let us know what he did before his disorderly exit.

We would want Doyin Okupe to know the following facts:

At difficult economic moments like ours, reflatory measures help to stimulate the economy and not deflatory measures which he canvasses.  Deflatory measures will only help to deepen the misery of the people and further weaken the economy.  Okupe could do well to ask President Obama what he did to restore the ailing American economy.

Although not justiceable, the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that the State shall ensure that “all citizens, without discrimination on any group whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment… equal pay for equal work.”


Thus, it is not a favour when the state employs its citizenry, it is merely doing its duty as prescribed by the Constitution.


A careful and honest assessment of the overheads of states will reveal that salaries do more good than any other overhead.


President Muhammadu Buhari in consideration of this, made available to the state governors bail-out funds for payment of salaries and pensions but only a few governors have properly applied these-funds.

This elicited a strong displeasure from the President only last week..  Thus,  instead of calling for the sanction of these governors, who by their conduct have created misery as well as overheated the polity, he is calling for the blood of hapless civil servants.

But we know what Okupe is looking for.  The savings from Jonathan’s administration job may have dried up and he needs a job!

He is free to look for one but not at the expense of our members, please!.‎” Comrade Wabba said