NLC Demands Fair Tax Justice System In Nigeria

NLC, Tax, Nigeria
NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba,

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded a fair tax justice system that will make it mandatory for business organisations to pay tax that is equal to their investment.

The union says at least 50 billion Naira is taken out of Africa annually and that the time to arrest the trend is now.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, believes Africa is being impoverished by the local and multi-national companies which enjoy a tax haven without contributing their profits to the development of the continent.

He urged the Federal Government to reduce the burden of taxation imposed on the average Nigerian worker who ‘compulsorily pays tax regularly’.

Mr Wabba made the call on Wednesday at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, where he led some workers to submit a letter of protest at the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He asked the Nigerian Government to protect Africa’s wealth through an effective tax regime that would provide a tax haven for some people.

The Director of Special Duties at the ministry, Mohammed Dikur, received the protest letter with a promise to ensure it gets to the Minister of Finance.

NLC, ASUU Move Against Sale Of National Assets

National Assets, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, Judiciary, JUSUN
NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba,

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it is opposed to the proposal to sell off some national assets as a way out of the current economic recession.

President of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Waba, at a joint press conference in Abuja with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) described the move as inimical to Nigerian workers.

The NLC President, who said that he would mobilize workers to resist any move by government to sell some of its assets, asked the government to improve on taxation.

According to him, the government can grow the economy if it focuses on taxing the rich and eliminating all forms of tax waivers.

Labour Union Seeks Autonomy Of Judiciary, Local Government

NLC, Ayuba Wabba, Judiciary, JUSUN
NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has proposed the independence of the judiciary and local government to build a stable and vibrant democracy.

It believes Nigeria cannot fight the monster of corruption if the autonomy of the judicial and local government was not achieved.

The President of the union Mr Ayuba Wabba, told a gathering in Katsina State that the judicial arm of the government and local government should be granted full autonomy to function, if Nigeria must grow democratically as a nation.

The NLC President made the observation during the opening ceremony of the 3rd National Delegate Conference of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) in Katsina State.

Mr Wabba told the gathering in northwest Nigeria on Friday that he believes that the autonomy will speed up the discharge of timely and appropriate judgement, as well as prosecution.

He also criticised the issue of courts giving conflicting judgement, saying it would put the judiciary in a bad light.

Fight Against Corruption

The labour leader stressed that the NLC would continue to fight against obnoxious policies from some state governments.

He called on the Federal Government not to concentrate the fight against corruption on the centre only, but asked that it should be extended to state and local governments to push grassroots development.

Members of the Judiciary Staff Union at the gathering also expressed their support for the call for the full autonomy of the judicial arm of the government.

They expressed hope that the independence of the judiciary would enable adequate discharge of their responsibilities.

Second Death Recorded In Alleged Nasarawa Police Shooting

Nasarawa, PoliceA second man has died from gunshot wounds after a clash between the Police and labour unions in Nasarawa State.

This brings the death toll to two, following a police shoot out at the gate of the Government House in Lafia, the state capital.

The deceased, Rabiu Mohammed, was an administrative staff of the defunct Nasarawa State owned newspaper, ‘Nigeria News Day’.

He passed away at the National Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital where he was receiving treatment.

The shots were fired as the workers waited for the outcome of a meeting between Governor Tanko Al Makura and the labour union, over the implementation of a new salary template, which prompted them to embark on an indefinite strike.

One of the workers had been killed while at least three others (two from the state Judicial Service Commission and a journalist) were injured in the incident.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, in his reaction called on the Nasarawa State Police Command to fish out the policeman responsible.

The Police Command spokesman, ASP Umar Numan, told Channels Television that the incident occurred as some of the workers allegedly threw stones at the General Manager of the Nasarawa Broadcasting Service, Mr Yusuf Musa, who was making his way to attend the meeting.

He added that the Police were not sure if the shootings were from the Police or the workers, saying the Police were working to establish the circumstances that led to the shooting.

NLC Criticises Upsurge In Casualisation Of Workers

NLC, WorkersThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has decried the increasing exploitation of Nigerian workers by multinational companies who prefer to engage workers on a casual basis.

The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, raised the concern on Monday while addressing participants at a conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Wabba expressed worry that the action of these companies is daily leaving scars on Nigerian workers.

He lamented the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, saying it portends danger for the nation if the situation is not urgently addressed.

The General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, Sharon Burrow, condemned the policy of most employers to the plight of the workers who she said were being impoverished.

In their remarks, a representative of the Head of Service, Emmanuel Audu and that of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Phyllis Nwokedi, assured the workers of better working conditions.

NLC, FG Resume Talks On Petrol Price Hike

labour-union-Federal-government-meetingThe Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have agreed to set up a 16-man committee to resolve the issues surrounding their disagreement on the recent hike in the pump price of petrol.

This forms the outcome of a meeting between both parties which took place on Wednesday in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in Abuja.

He also announced the constitution of a board for the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency

Present at the meeting were the SGF, Mr Babachir Lawal, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who was a former labour leader.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, led the team from labour.

Mr Wabba told reporters that the labour union and the government were working on a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

He promised that labour would continue to engage the government on better working conditions for Nigerian workers

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, who is to chair the 16-man committee, pledged the commitment of the government to addressing the issues that led to the strike.

Governor Oshiomhole also threw his weight behind the Ayuba Wabba-led NLC.

 

The government had earlier insisted that until the NLC called off its strike, there would be no further negotiations after both parties had failed to reach an agreement at their meeting on May 17.

After few days of the strike, the NLC on Sunday called off the indefinite strike it embarked upon to protest the fuel price hike, a condition the Federal Government gave for resumption of talks with labour.

The Federal Government had on May 11 increase the price band of Premium Motor Spirit popularly referred to as petrol from 86.50 Naira to 145 Naira.

Announcing the increase, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that the decision was taken to address the scarcity of the product that had lingered for months due to difficulty in getting foreign exchange for importation of the product.

Nigeria’s local refineries have not met the nation’s petrol need, as they produce below their capacity.

After the increase, the labour union described it as insensitive, declaring its readiness to resist the increase.

Days after, the NLC started an indefinite strike aimed at forcing the government to revert to the old price of 86.50 Naira, but the government said the strike was illegal, as it had secured a court injunction stopping the labour union from embarking on the indefinite strike.

Senate Denies Buying 108 Cars, Puts Figure At 36

Ibrahim-Gobir Senator on Senates purchased carsThe Nigerian Senate has denied purchasing 108 cars for it members, saying only 36 cars were purchased one for each state of the Federation.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Senate Services, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, gave the clarification on Tuesday during a meeting in Abuja.

He told reporters that the Senate decided to purchase only 36 cars which cost about 36.5 million Naira each due to lack of funds.

“I will like to say that the issue that we bought 108 cars is wrong.

“We bought 36 cars and this is because each Senator in each state is either a chairman or a vice chairman and we gave one car to each state to share among themselves as utility car.

“And on the issue of buying cars without appropriation, it is very wrong. This has been appropriated in the 2015 budget and we used what we had in the 2015 budget to by the 36 cars.

“The issue of the cost of the car. The showroom price is 36.5 million Naira and we are surprised. The car we bought is Land Cruiser VSR V8 not V6 and the minimum showroom price is about 31 million Naira and when you put 10 per cent VAT and Tax that will arrive at 36.5 million Naira,” Senator Gobir explained.

Going by the figures given by Senator Gobir the 36 cars cost about 1.3 billion Naira.

There were reports on Monday on the purported purchase of 108 cars by the Senate, with the Nigeria Labour Congress urging the lawmakers to return the cars or face its wrath.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, was quoted by This Day as saying that the purchase of the cars was “wrong and insensitive” in the face of the suffering of the masses.

“We consider as appalling, insensitive and greedy the decision of the Senate to acquire 108 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles (one for each member, except the Senate president) after collecting ‘car loans’ in August last year for the same purpose.

“It is equally morally despicable and shameful that they are doing this after publicly admitting that the standing committees of the Senate are unable to perform their statutory functions due to the paucity of funds,”Mr Wabba said.

Labour Tackles Kaduna Govt Over Fresh Biometric Exercise

KadunaThe organised labour union is set for a showdown with the Kaduna State government over the introduction of a fresh verification exercise.

According to them, the exercise will compel civil servants in the state to fill forms indicating if they still want to be members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) or not.

Reacting to this, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and his TUC counterpart, Bobbai Kaigama, have directed the workers to disregard the order by not filling the form.

He said the new screening exercise was against International Labour Organisation Convention on Rights of Workers, and a deliberate measure to destabilise unionism in the Kaduna State’s public service.

Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved workers, the TUC Chairman in Kaduna State, Shehu Mohammed, stressed that they wanted the government to expunge the portion of the verification form that stated that civil servants should decide whether or not, they want to belong to a labour union in the new state government’s rules of engagement.

According to the workers, the Kaduna State government had issued out a form titled “Special Exercise on Staff Verification”, where it requested all workers under its payroll to either fill a “Yes or No”, for membership of a union.

Reacting to the allegation, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, through his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, said that the exercise was a continuation of the previous one that commenced in 2015 and not a new one.

He explained that the verification process was necessary to establish a comprehensive data and therefore, could not be considered conclusive until the government was reasonably satisfied that it had eliminated ghosts from its payroll.

Regarding union membership, Aruwan said that “the government respects the right of workers to freedom of association”, but stressed that the state government considered that it was democratic that those who wish to exercise this right or not should indicate in writing.

While government insists that the introduction of the form is not to break the ranks of the NLC or TUC in Kaduna State, the workers have agreed to meet by Wednesday to take a definite stand on their next line of action, as they vowed not to sign the controversial form.

NLC Gives Osun Government 7 Days To Pay Workers’ Arrears

NLCThe Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Osun State Government have reached a truce that disbursement and payment of the outstanding salary arrears owed the state’s workers should not exceed seven days from Monday.

Rising from a closed door meeting which lasted for hours with Governor Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo, the state Capital on Monday, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the bailout funds would be deployed in ‎the payment of salaries.

Mr Wabba assured the workers that the NLC was committed to ensuring that all workers were paid their monthly wages as and when due. He said that the Governor had emphasised the need for the judicious use of the bail out fund to settle the workers salaries first.

The NLC President stated that it was important for government at all levels to look inward and fashion out ways to boost it’s Internally Generated Revenue to avoid a recurrence of the inability of government to pay its workforce.

Although, the number of outstanding months that would be paid is yet to be agreed on‎, Wabba said the state labour was working alongside the government’s delegation to arrive at how best to ease the burden of unpaid salaries on workers.

Meanwhile, Lecturers working in Osun State-owned tertiary institutions on Monday, stormed the State’s House of Assembly in protest of their unpaid salaries.

Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on September 8 assured civil servants that they would be paid their outstanding salary arrears before the end of the month.

‎Aregbesola made the disclosure while speaking at the National flag off ceremony for the distribution of FGN/UBEC plastic chairs and tables to all the states in the country, in Osogbo, the Osun state capital.

He explained that his administration was committed to the welfare of its workers, and reassured them that the eight months salaries owed them would be settled before the end of September.

NLC Meets With Senate President Over Minimum Wage

NLC Meets With Senate President Over Minimum WagesThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has met with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over the 18, 000 naira minimum wage paid to workers.

This came as part of Senator Saraki’s continuous meeting with different interest groups in Nigeria.

Shortly after the meeting which took place on Thursday in Abuja, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Waba, said that 18,000 naira was no longer realistic as minimum wage for workers.

He observed that the minimum wage was grossly inadequate in an import driven country like Nigeria, with the present devaluation of the naira from 150 per dollar to about 242 to a dollar.

Waba stated that the NLC intends to submit a new minimum wage demand to the National Assembly.

Speaking on how to free workers from the bondage of poverty, he advised that government should tackle the problem of corruption in the country.

The NLC President said that Nigerians were alarmed by the rapid increase in the budget of the National Assembly and wondered why the earnings and expenditure of lawmakers were concealed.

Waba also revealed the Union’s plan to organise an anti-corruption rally to demonstrate that Nigerians would no longer tolerate corruption by government officials.

NLC Factional Leader Demands Investigation Into Controversial Election

Joe Ajaero on NLCThe factional President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, is requesting for an investigation into the election that ended with the declaration of Comrade Ayuba Wabba as the winner.

After the election in March, Comrade Ajaero and his aggrieved supporters rejected the result and the outcome of the exercise, claiming that the election was not credible.

The election committee said no complaint was lodged before the vote counting or the announcement of the eventual result.

Comrade Ajaero, however, told Channels Television on Friday that Comrade Wabba was announced the President but was not an elected President.

“We need to put the two different things in perspective. After the accreditation, voting and sorting, everybody saw my result they put a call across to ‘the power that be’.

“Then what we saw was a deployment of security men, over 200, stationed at the position of NUPENG and all my supporters in case of any movement by us,” he said, insisting that the election result was manipulated to favour Mr Wabba.

The factional President said that the absence of a formal process of resolving issues within the NLC had also deepened the controversy that has continued unresolved.

“The veterans have tried to bridge the gap.

“He (Wabba) disagreed with the proposals made by the veterans.

“The first proposal was to put on hold the State Council Election to ensure that the crisis do not deepen, but he said no that he got directive from his mark that he is going to consult. He held elections in the states, now we have two councils in the state.

“He has been on media tour in Lagos,” he said.

Mr Ajaero stressed that he had maintained a level of restraints, saying everybody should be walking towards peace, as the interest of the union was stronger than personal interest.

“If the workers ask me to step down, I will step down. We are still giving room for solution,” he added.

The two factional leaders have continued to carry on in their different capacity, but veterans have warned that the situation would weaken the labour union which had been seen as the hope for a better working and living standard for the Nigerian worker.

Workers from 23 unions including Electricity Workers Union, Nigerian Textile Workers Union and NUPENG are among those opposing the results of the election that declared Waba president of the workers’ union.

NLC Holds Re-Scheduled Elections

nlcThe Nigeria Labour Congress have reconvened in Abuja to hold last month’s elections which ended in a deadlock following allegation of bias against officials of the election committee.

This time around, former officials of the union, who are now politicians, were on hand to supervise the rescheduled elections

As the time of this report, voting exercise was peaceful while members of the union who protested against the procedure in February were satisfied with the process.

The election of a new national executive of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in February, had ended in chaos in Abuja on February 12.

Aggrieved delegates were caught on Channels Television camera smashing and emptying ballot boxes with ballot papers flying on the floor of the International Conference Centre.

The workers alleged that the ballot papers were designed to favour one of the candidates vying for the President of the union.

Candidates in the failed elections of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) accused the union’s credentials committee of compromise and lack of diligence, which they said led to the irregularities that botched the elections.

The NLC leadership later re-scheduled the election for March 12 after meeting behind closed doors for about 10 hours six days after the aborted exercise.

The meeting was mediated by former labour leaders, including Hassan Sunmunu, Ali Ciroma and Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State.