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FG dares NLC, says no money to pay salary arrears for now



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The federal government has said it has no money to pay arrears owed federal workers.

This is coming as the Senate leadership met with Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, to address the issue of unpaid salary arrears.

Saraki, who presided over the meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, tasked parties involved to brainstorm on how to tackle the issue and proffer solutions.

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Briefing journalists immediately after the meeting, Ngige disclosed that the FG lacked sufficient funds to offset salary arrears.

He said, “We are here to discuss issues relating that could cause industrial disharmony in the public sector. As you are aware, the labour federations have said the governors have not been treating them well.

“One of the cardinal issues of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is to give our workers decent jobs and we decided to discuss with them.

“It’s a tripartite negotiation. What we are doing here is tripartite plus because we have involved the National Assembly and when you do any such negotiations it is a plus.

“We looked at the issues of salaries arrears, promotion arrears, debt benefits, location expenses and transfer allowances, which have accumulated overtime and had ran into billions and this is what are owed to federal public servant and we started the meeting today to find a solution.”

The Labour Minister also said the meeting yielded significant results before it was adjourned to Tuesday, May 9 at 4pm, as all parties would have come up with solutions to the problem.

The NLC President who spoke said, there were challenges facing the new minimum wage, like amendment of existing laws, as well as that of budgetary provision.

Wabba said: “We have discussed issues bothering on arrears of allowances which have accumulated for some time and running into billions, which they have not paid.

“Also, alongside is the issue of pension particularly the issue of bonds and the fact that some of the contributions by workers have not been remitted for time.

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