From: MAGNUS EZE, Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), on Wednesday, sounded it clear to governors of states owing backlog of salaries to its workers, to clear the arrears with the latest tranche of Paris Club refund.
The Federal Government, on Tuesday, released N243.7 billion being the second tranche of the Paris Club refund to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
NULGE National President, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, who stated this while opening a two-day workshop on “Effective Financial Management of Trade Union Finance,” for NULGE officials in Abuja, disclosed that letters had be dispatched to the debtor states to comply, as anything in the contrary would lead to full blown industrial action.
“We visited most of the states with devastating cases particularly in terms of payment of local government salaries. One of these states was Delta; the National leadership of NULGE had a direct meeting with the state governor; Ifeanyi Okowa. We signed a MoU with him that as soon as Paris Club fund came, whatever belonged to the local governments will be judiciously and transparently used with our leadership in the state in offsetting the backlog of unpaid salaries of our members.
“And it was through the collective push of the Nigeria Labour Congress with its affiliates that the Governors’ Forum adopted a resolution that this Paris Club refund would be used by all the state governments to ensure that they offset the unpaid salaries of workers in the states. We have already issued letters particularly to states owing our workers’ salaries that they must do the needful; otherwise, the union this time around is ready to engage them to whatever level,” Khaleel stated.
NULGE President also said the union and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) had on the prompting of the National Assembly, harmonised their positions on the on-going Constitution review relating to local government autonomy.