The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Christ Ngige, has lambasted the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over accusations of vendetta leveled against him.
Reacting to the allegations that he was on a mission to proscribe NUPENG, Ngige described the allegation by the labour unions as “cheap and unconscionable lies”.
In a statement issued by Mrs Rhoda Iliya, Head, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, on Tuesday in Abuja, Ngige also said the two organisations had traded decorum for cheap propaganda.
“What a mischief from two organisations that have traded decorum for cheap propaganda.
“On 13th May, 2019, a letter was written by the Department of Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations (TUSIR) of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, precisely by the Registrar of Trade Union to both the NUPENG and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
“The letter draw the attention of the Unions to the non-rendition of their financial returns for the years 2017 and 2018.
“The letter directed that the unions should comply according to the provisions of Sections 40 and 37(i) of the Trade Unions Act of 2004.
“It states that every registered body shall send to the registrar before 1st June in each year, an annual return in the prescribed form and shall be certified as correct by the duly appointed auditor.
“The NUPENG and TUC being in breach of this Section 37(i), the Registrar of Trade Union invoked Section 40 of the Trade Unions Act Cap T.14(LFN) 2004, which gives the Registrar of Trade Union powers to request that all the books of accounts of defaulting unions be submitted to the Registrar for further scrutiny to make for accountability in the management of the unions’ funds,” he said.