Corruption in Nigeria Will Persist Until Government Takes Welfare of Workers Serious... Umara

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

Dr Ibrahim Umara of the Department of political science, University of Maiduguri has said that corruption will persist in Nigeria until government takes workers welfare with all seriousness.

Delivering a paper tittled " Role of Labour movement in national development" to mark 2018 workers day on Tuesday, Dr. Ibrahim Umara said workers spent 35 years of active youthful aged in service only to retire and stay for years without being paid their gratuity, sometimes even their pension.

He said “government has to take workers welfare with all seriousness if the fight against corruption is to be won. You see workers having retired for years without getting his benefits.”

According to him, for effective labour movement and improved welfare of workers in Nigeria, labour leaders must always distance themselves from governments at all levels and only seat on round table when the need arises..

Dr Umara said "workers in Borno have despite the Boko Haram security challenges have done their best, as they deferred the killings by Boko Haram ande make sure they contributed to the peace and development of the state, hence the need for the government to reciprocate their sacrifices by paying their benefits, entitlements, pensions and salaries as at when due".

Earlier in his welcome address, the Borno state Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress NLC, Comrade Titus Ali Abana called on the Borno state government to end the lingering biometric verification exercise of workers and pensioners in the state within two week by deploying more staff and centre to capture them.

“it is unfortunate that workers and pensioners are dying in the name of verification exercise, many workers and pensioners have not been paid their salaries in the last 6 to 12 months due slow pace of the biometric exercise. I therefore call on the state government to do everything to end the exercise in two weeks,” Comrade Abana stated.

“I also urge the government to increase the fund set aside for the payment of gratuity of retiring workers from N100 million to N150 million monthly, as the fund was not aduate because till now the payment is still on those that retired in 2013, despite the funds released to the state government from Paris club", the NLC chairman stated.

The NLC also demand the implementation of N18, 000 minimum wages to all staff of local government areas, nonpayment of yearly promotion among other demands.

Responding, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state said that despite the Boko Haram insurgency and the meagre resource, the government have not failed to pay salary for a months and called on the workers to be patient with government, as all their demands will be looked into.

Governor Shettima who was represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Usman Mamman Durkwa said government is not unmindful of the hardship faced by the workers in the state due to the verification exercise but stressed that the exercise is for their own good, as the exercise was aimed at blocking wastages.