NLC: Abia government owes judges 18 months salaries, while doctors are owed over 12 months salaries
Abia state government has been called out by the Nigerian Labour Congress over the deplorable condition workers in the state workforce currently operate.
Speaking at a public lecture organised by the National Industrial Court of Nigerian as part of activities marking its 2022/2023 Legal Year which ended on Friday, with the theme, “Labour justice and socio-economic development”, President of NLC President, Ayuba Wabba stated that Abia State government has not only failed to implement the minimum wage but have also failed to pay workers as at when due.
Wabba said schools in the state are closed, judges are being owed over 18 months and doctors are owed over 12 months’ salaries.
The NLC President revealed that the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal who told him about the sorry state of affairs in the Abia State Judiciary, also said that she sometimes sends stipends to support judicial workers.
“In that state too, doctors have not been paid for more than 12 months. That is the reality, and schools are closed. And she (the Judge) demanded to know what the labour movement in the State and the NLC were doing on the Abia case.
“I quickly checked and found out that the NLC Chairman in the state has retired from service. But, because he is doing the bidding of the government, he approached the government in writing to give him an extension.”
He also disclosed that while they kicked against Abia government granting the state NLC Chairman an extension because the law says a retired person cannot continue to lead workers, the Abia NLC Chairman went to court and obtained a perpetual injunction retaining him in office.
Stressing that the court has failed in its responsibility to always dispense justice, Wabba noted that the economy of nations flourish where labour rights were protected.
He urged the court to always dispense justice without fear or favour to ensure a harmonious relationship in the workplace.
“There is a relationship between a good industrial system and productivity and the ability to attract foreign investment. No investor will come to a country where there is uncertainty, where there is no opportunity for you to seek redress for any wrong”