The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Saturday advocated for a return to regional governments in Nigeria owing to failure of states to fulfil their obligations including payment of salaries to workers.
The TUC also advised state governors who cannot address the welfare of workers to resign.
Bobboi Kaigama, TUC president, who made the comments, said it was now clear that the excuse by state governments that non-payment of salaries was as a result of lack of funds was inaccurate and indefensible.
He said the non-payment was rather likely be due to corruption.
Kaigama made the TUC’s position known while addressing journalists after the union’s national executive council meeting.
He said it was only the Lagos State government that had been regularly paying workers’ salaries and allowances.
“All the other states have one issue or the other in terms of salaries or benefits of their workers,” he said.
“You will discover that it is 13 months’ arrears of gratuities or pensions that have not been paid.
“In some cases, it is the contributory pension deductions that have not been remitted or promotions arrears and death benefits not been paid.”
Advocating for a return to regional government, he said that state governments were failing in their responsibilities.
“The trust we have in state government has eroded.
“If it is for the purposes of payment of salaries and infrastructure development such as provision of health facilities, roads, rail transportation and others, we are better off with regional government,’’ Kaigama said,’’ he said.
The union leader said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved bailout funds and budget support funding to enable states to settle workers’ salaries, to no avail.
Kaigama said accountability in Nigeria was weak, and called for the strengthening of anti-graft agencies.
On national minimum wage, Kaigama said state governments should be determined to pay the wage when approved.
He also called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the power sector due to its deteriorating condition.
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