The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is alleging that the Kaduna Governor, Mallam Nasir el Rufai, is hell-bent on erasing 36,000 jobs is to please the World Bank so as to access a loan.
The NLC announced that since the it had exhausted all processes aimed at constructive engagement with the state government, it was poised to stop the governor by all lawful means, starting with protests in Kaduna next Thursday to defend the rights of the affected workers.
President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, told journalists in Abuja on Tuesday that the “odious act” of the governor will affect 21,000 teachers, 4000 local government workers, and 8000 workers from various state Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Wabba added: “These acts of impunity against workers have been committed by the state government under the guise of a so-called competency test that was deliberately programmed to fail teachers and a spurious programme that goes by the name the Public Service Revitalization and Renewal Project, which are all a smokescreen by the state government to fulfill conditions for accessing a World Bank loan that will be paid back by the working people who are tax payers for generations to come.”
He accused the governor of spurning the Congress’ move at conciliation under the auspices of the Honourable Minister of Labour and adjudication at the National Industrial Court (NIC).
According to him, el Rufai did not only jettison the conciliation process, he refused to obey the order of the Court that all processes in the sacking of teachers should be put on hold until the determination of the case.
“Immediately after the New Year on 3rd January, 2018, the elected Governor of Kaduna state, in obvious disregard and fragrant abuse of the existing court ruling and the legal process, issued letters of disengagement to thousands of teachers and back dated them to November 3rd, 2017 ostensibly to circumvent the court order.
“This perfidy is not only irresponsible and unbecoming of a governor elected under the revered Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but a criminal act and an affront to the well cherished principles of law and natural justice. Our concerns, and indeed those of well-meaning Nigerians include the illegal and unacceptable processes employed by the Governor and their direct impact on thousands of dependants of 36,000 workers and their families thrown in one fell swoop into the unemployment market,” he added.
He noted that the state government sack of the workers worsens the social tensions and societal ills such as kidnappings, armed robberies, killings in the state.
“The actions of Governor El-Rufai,” Wabba said further, “are largely propelled by his rabid obsession to access a loan and mortgage the lives and livelihood of thousands of workers, and indeed the people of Kaduna state to the IMF and World Bank.”
The labour leader questioned the sanity of a mass sack when the country is barely out of recession and efforts are being made to reflate the economy, creating jobs and curbing all forms of social insecurity.
He described the Governor actions as inhuman illogical, and unviable.
“It is apparent that El-Rufai’s approach is a clear violation and abuse of the tenets and provisions of our labour laws and well known international best practices, and are capable of exacerbating social tensions and societal ills in the state,” he said.