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N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors - Politics - Nairaland

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N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by dre11(m): 10:16am On Mar 25, 2017
• Move to check fund diversion

•State chief executives: we’ll spend cash judiciously



State governors will have nosey labour leaders to contend with in the disbursement of the N500 billion Paris Club refunds expected from the Federal Government.

The money is due for transfer to the state governments’ accounts any moment from now.

The bulk of it is to be used to clear arrears of workers’ salaries and pensioners’ gratuities.

Labour leaders want to avert a repeat of the misuse of the last refunds to the state.

In one instance, a Southsouth governor allegedly diverted $10 million of the sum released to his state for personal use.

He handed over the money to his US-based mistress to help him launder only for the woman to sit on it.

Some other governors allegedly used much of the money to pay contractors.

This time around, labour leaders appear poised to sit on the necks of the governors to ensure that workers get all their dues from the coming refunds, according to investigation conducted by The Nation.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in several states including Enugu, Imo and Rivers, have set up committees to ensure proper application of the money.

The Enugu State committee, for instance, comprises representatives of the NLC, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and other stakeholders.

Chairman of the local NLC, Comrade Viginus Nwobodo, said the committee’s task is to ensure that the money earmarked for the payment of salaries and outstanding pension arrears get to the real people.

Already, the sum of N3.9 billion has been earmarked for the payment of the salary arrears of LG workers and pensioners.

He said the committee was already auditing and verifying the staff and would report to the government at the end of the exercise.

It is expected that 75 per cent of the money will be used to pay workers salaries while the remaining 25 per cent would take care of pensioners’ salaries.

“We will make sure that the money clears all the outstanding arrears of the workers. There is no way the government can misuse the money because it is mainly for workers,” Nwobodo said.

Imo workers await fund’s arrival

Chairman of the Imo State NLC, Comrade Austin Chilakpu, told The Nation that machinery had set in motion to monitor the disbursement of the fund in the State.

“We have set our machinery in motion to ensure that the fund is not diverted. Imo State will comply with the directive of the national body. We are not going to be an exemption,” he said.

“But we are not going to let the cat out of the bag yet. Just be assured that we are leaving no stone unturned in making sure that the Paris Club refund is used for the purpose it is meant for.”

Information Commissioner Obinna Nshirim said the state government will spend the money “judiciously and transparently” in the interest of the State.

He said Governor Rochas Okorocha was one of the few state chief executives that “openly disclosed the amount of money received in the first tranche”.

He said:” Imo State got N13 billion out of which N9 billion was used for payment of pension arrears. So the same thing will happen when the second tranche of the money comes.

“The Governor will also make it open and use it for what it is meant for. I can assure you that there will be nothing like diversion of the funds.”

We’ll resist any attempt to divert funds

— Delta workers

The Delta Chapter of the NLC vowed to “object strongly” to any attempt by the state government to misuse the Paris Club Loan Refund.

Its Vice Chairman, Jonathan Jemirieyigbe, said in an interview in Asaba, the State capital, that the government has already pledged that “a reasonable chunk of the money will be used to pay pensioners.

Jemirieyigbe, who doubles as chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state, said the over two-week industrial action embarked upon by teachers in the state was over non-payment of salaries, adding that it “will be untenable for the union to stand by and watch funds meant for workers welfare diverted.”

He added: “If the money is misused, NLC will not lie low.

”Another area the money will be utilised will be settling of local government staff and primary school teachers’ salary arrears.

“The Governor made a categorical statement last week when Trade Union Congress (TUC) executives paid him a courtesy call.

“He made it abundantly clear to Deltans the three critical areas the second tranche of the Paris Club Loan Refund will be deployed to.

“Firstly, pensioners will be taken care of; pension refund, those that have retired who have not received gratuity. He said quite a reasonable amount will be used to settle the payment of our elderly who have served the state meritoriously and retired.

“Secondly, local government staff and primary school teachers will receive salary arrears from the money.

“Thirdly, it has to do with deductions. Deductions from cooperatives societies that were not repaid will be paid. The balance of deductions of cooperative societies will be settled. That is the promise he made not only to the NLC, but Deltans.

“We are sure that he will not deviate from it. If he wanted to do that, he would not have made it an issue for public knowledge.”

Chairman, Trade Union Congresss, Comrade Chinedu Nwobodo (TUC), said the union will monitor government spending of the funds despite assurances by Governor Okowa.

He said the TUC will reach out to government once it gets information that the money has reached its coffers, adding that the purpose is to serve as reminder on the promises made by government.

Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okowa, Charles Aniagwu, said the Delta State Government will spend the proposed Paris Club Loan on payment of salaries, welfare of pensioners and infrastructure development.

He said Delta State has always used funds accruing to the state judiciously, adding that the first tranche was used as intended.


Rivers workers may protest diversion of fund

The Rivers State NLC and TUC may embark on a protest if the money is not used to pay them, according to the NLC chair, Mrs. Beatrice Itubu.

She said: “I’m just coming from the office of the new Commissioner of Police in the state. We sent him a letter against the Rivers State Government informing the police that we are aware of the Paris Club cash and we want the government to tell us what they are doing with the money.

“We are not resting here. If we discover that the purpose for which the loan was granted is being abused, we will write to the committee in charge and take appropriate action.

“You know that Rivers State is not an easy state in this kind of issue, because any move you make, people will begin to talk to you to cooperate. But we are not going to be deterred; we are going to do what is right.

“We have written a letter to that affect and even communicated to the national body. Right now, we are working with TUC. That was the reason we visited the new commissioner of police, because if we are going to take action now it is him that they are going to use to stop us. For now, we believe that the police are aware of the whole situation.”

Effort to get the newly elected TUC chairman on the phone to speak on the issue yielded no result.

Governor Nyesom Wike could not be reached. But he had said on different occasions that Rivers money is for Rivers people and will be invested in the development of the state.

Leader of Lawyers Network for Change, Mr. Iheayichukwu Zubi Dike, said his organisation was working closely with NLC and TUC in the state to ensure that the fund is fully utilised for the purpose for which it is meant.

Ogun Labour leaders monitoring Accountant-General

The Joint Public Service Negotiation Council (JPSNC) in Ogun State said it will not fold its arms and allow the money to be misapplied in anyway by government.

Its Chairman, Abiodun Olakanmi, told The Nation on the phone that the council and government will be meeting on Monday “about our grievances so that when the money comes, it will be used to address our needs.

”The government had complained of no fund. Now that fund is coming through Paris Club refund, it means God has answered our prayer, and we are going to write everything in black and white so that when the fund comes, workers’ issue would be attended to in the state,” he said.

The State Chairman, Trade Union Congress(TUC), Com. Olubunmi Fajobi, told The Nation that the national body of the TUC has already mandated them at the state level to “closely monitor the release of the fund.”

Fajobi added that local TUC is closely monitoring the office of the state’s Accountant – General on the issue.

But the Ogun State Government pledged yesterday that there was no cause for worry on the issue.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s Media aide, Soyinka Adejuwon, said his principal is “known for prudent management of scarce resources and does not divert funds.”

Soyinka said that when the first tranche of the fund was released, the state got N10.6bn and spent N12.5bn on the payment of gratuities, cooperative deduction arrears and severance allowance of former political office holders, including those who served the former Governor Gbenga Daniel’s administration between 2007 and 2011.

”In essence, we added about N3bn to what we got and used it all on the payment of workers’ benefits. Governor Amosun did that even when the Federal Government suggested that states use about 50 per cent of the fund to pay worker’s entitlements,” Soyinka stated.


Anambra Labour ready to monitor fund

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Anambra State are similarly ready to give the state government a close monitoring to ensure that their members are not short changed once the money comes.

Chairman of NLC, Sir Jerry Nnubia, said their aim is to make sure that the welfare of workers are adequately taken care of, although he said Governor Willie Obiano is worker friendly g.

Nnubia, who doubles as NULGE president, said: “Obiano does not owe workers in this state, and we equally believe that as soon as the money comes, he will distribute it accordingly.

“Our concern is to make sure that workers welfare is well taken care of including pensioners.”

Bayelsa labour leaders plan to engage govt

Labour leaders in Bayelsa State are looking forward to a parley with the state government to ensure that salary arrears are give attention above any other thing.

The Chairman of TUC, Mr. Tari Dounana, said: “It is our expectation that the government should know that they will engage labour. But on our part, we are putting together a joint letter, NLC and TUC, to the government. And we are believing that they will engage us.

“Priority should be given to the payment of all outstanding salaries before anything. This is a good opportunity for them to clear all that they are owing.

“We are earnestly looking forward for them to do the needful. Human life must be given considerations before any other project can be carried.”

His NLC counterpart, Mr. Bipre Ndiomu, said: “We plan to engage the government. Federal government has already pronounced that the money should be used for the payment of salaries. We will have discussions.

“But we know that the funds are yet to drop. We do not know the exact amounts coming to the state. After knowing these details we will know the steps to follow.”

Information Commissioner, Jonathan Obuebite, assured workers that Governor Seriake Dickson is committed to the welfare of the workers.

He said though the state is not owing for the current year, outstanding salaries for last year caused by recession would be seriously considered after receiving the funds.

“The fear that the money would be diverted should not be there because the government does not joke with the welfare of workers,” he said.


We’ll resist attempt to misappropriate it

– Kaduna NLC Chair

Chairman of Kaduna State NLC, Comrade Adamu Ango, said labour would resist any attempt to misapply the refund.

“We are following the Paris Club Fund issue keenly, and if there is any attempt to use the funds for something else, we shall resist it,” he said on the phone.

Government officials told The Nation that the State Executive Council has already decided to use much of the refund to clear arrears of pensions and gratuity.

“Since Kaduna is not owing salary, the government is not even looking at the area of salary. But I can tell you that a substantial part of the fund will go to settle pensions arrears and gratuities,” one source said.

“The Governor recently flagged-off the payment of pensions and gratuities to retirees in the public service, where he pledged to settle inherited arrears of pension and gratuity of the civil servants since 2011, totalling N15 billion.

“The interest of pensioners and the sustainability of government pension obligations are uppermost in the mind of Mallam. That is why he championed the passage of the Kaduna State Pension Reform Law 2016.

”The reason advanced by the state executive council while deciding to use the Paris Club Fund for pensions was that it is not fair that pensioners should face delay in receiving their dues or be subjected to the perennial stress of physical verification, often in arduous conditions.”

Focus on pension in Niger

The Niger state NLC Chairman, Comrade Idris Ndako, said that civil servants are not having any salary issue with government as salaries are paid up to date.

The problem,according to him,is payment of pensions and gratuities.

He said: “Once the fund is released, we will pay a visit to the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, and tell him we want it to be used for the payment of pensions.

“Many civil servants have retired and they are yet to get their benefits, so the Paris Club refund should be used for this purpose.”

Asked what the state Labour might do if the governor refused to grant the wish, Ndako said: “He has no choice. The money is not meant for the governor. It is meant for the state and the workers in the state. He has no choice but to grant our wish. He also has no power to divert it.

“We have our ears to the ground. Once it comes, we will take action and monitor how the fund is expended. And if it is not done to our satisfaction, you will hear from us.”

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Jide Orintunsin, said the issue of diversion of the fund does not arise.

“Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has the interest of the civil servants in the state at heart. Since the refund cash is supposed to address their problems, the Governor has said that he would do his best to ensure that it will be used judiciously and all party would be satisfied.”

Orintunsin said that despite the economic crunch, the state government has not defaulted in paying the salaries of workers .

“To this end, the civil servants are assured that the Paris Club Refund Cash will not be misappropriated.”

We have confidence in Gov Lalong ­

—Plateau NLC

Like their Oyo State counterparts, Plateau State NLC is confident that Governor Simon Lalong will not disappoint workers when he receives the refunds.

Chairman of Plateau NLC, Comrade Jibrin Bancir, said: “Definitely, there is an outstanding welfare issue that we need to resolve with government. The governor himself promised to resolve it as soon as the economic base of government improves.

“We thank God that another tranche of the Paris Club refund is being expected and we are eager and hopeful that Governor Lalong will do the needful and clear all outstanding welfare issues.

“We are talking of four-month salary arrears which accumulated due to “no work, no pay” rule applied by the immediate past administration following a strike action.


http://thenationonlineng.net/n500b-paris-club-refund-labour-set-showdown-governors/

lalasticlala
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by olasarah: 10:19am On Mar 25, 2017
This is super story!

4 Likes 2 Shares

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by seunlly(m): 10:21am On Mar 25, 2017
They must fight for their right.
Oya solidarity forever we shall always fight for our right.

1 Like

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by CplusJason: 10:25am On Mar 25, 2017
He said: “Once the fund is released, we will pay a visit to the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, and tell him we want it to be used for the payment of pensions.








Lol, what a beautiful lie. grin

6 Likes

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by Earth2Metahuman: 10:48am On Mar 25, 2017
The money will be stolen or diverted and there is nothing anyone can do about it

That's how messed up everything is.

1 Like

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by shams040(m): 12:40pm On Mar 25, 2017
Ok, my signature
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by sweerychick(f): 12:41pm On Mar 25, 2017
Which labour? You mean those toothless bull dogs undecided.. Mtcheew abeg next news please

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by adedayourt(m): 12:42pm On Mar 25, 2017
No be today dem don dey do showdown, nothing comes out of it. undecided

2 Likes 2 Shares

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by emmasege: 12:44pm On Mar 25, 2017
As for me, I'm already lifting up my head to the Lord from whom comes the help and deliverance of Nigeria because opposition parties, civil societies and labour unions have since been silenced in Nigeria. Thanks to the militarized democracy of Buhari through the EFCC & DSS, as well as the intelligentsia of Tinubu through media takeover and envelopes to opinion leaders.

We shall be free someday!

1 Like 1 Share

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by AngelicBeing: 12:45pm On Mar 25, 2017
bada87:
this governtment just dey deceive us walai angry



""In one instance, a Southsouth governor allegedly diverted $10 million of the sum released to his state for personal use.""



Look at the highlighted above, they are all thieves, both APC & PDP no difference, out of the 500 Million Dollars Paris refund, between 10 to 40 % will end in private pockets, that is why you hardly see meaningful development across the state, too much stealing by the useless politicians, what a country and l dont see it changing until the masses stone all these ba.stards to death, nonsense

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by fasterwell(m): 12:46pm On Mar 25, 2017
seunlly:
They must fight for their right.
Oya solidarity forever we shall always fight for our right.

Fight for their right? I laugh in an unknown tongue oh

See make i tell u say na their own share dem wan collect and na for labour leaders only.



Na d real labourers go suffer pass

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by chmeze(m): 12:47pm On Mar 25, 2017
Na today?...except this labour leaders are from Jupiter nothing will happen.

1 Like

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by desmondxx: 12:47pm On Mar 25, 2017
The money is going back to Paris as stolen loot

3 Likes

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by armadeo(m): 12:49pm On Mar 25, 2017
Na today.

One guy don declare already that the money will be used to develop the state.

Translation : I have already ear marked the money for my use. If you like go and die

1 Like 1 Share

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by ICEFLAME419ja(m): 12:49pm On Mar 25, 2017
dre11:







• Move to check fund diversion

•State chief executives: we’ll spend cash judiciously






http://thenationonlineng.net/n500b-paris-club-refund-labour-set-showdown-governors/






Lol cheesy ;Dllllllllllllllloooooooooooooiollllllllll who wan read this kind long shit
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by ICEFLAME419ja(m): 12:49pm On Mar 25, 2017
[quote author=dre11 post=54928219]






• Move to check fund diversion

•State chief executives: we’ll spend cash judiciously






http://thenationonlineng.net/n500b-paris-club-refund-labour-set-showdown-governors/


[/quot ;Dllllllllllllllloooooooooooooiollllllllll who wan read this kind long shit
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by burkingx(f): 12:52pm On Mar 25, 2017
shocked angry

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by israelmao(m): 12:53pm On Mar 25, 2017
The Nigerian Labour Congress I know is a toothless bull dog, easily bought up for cash and timid.
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by israelmao(m): 12:54pm On Mar 25, 2017
The current Nigerian Labour Congress I know is a toothless bull dog, easily bought over for cash and timid.
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by zicoraads: 12:58pm On Mar 25, 2017
CplusJason:
He said: “Once the fund is released, we will pay a visit to the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, and tell him we want it to be used for the payment of pensions.








Lol, what a beautiful lie. grin


He doesn't have to. Abu Lolo won't even touch the money. He'll surely use it for what it is originally meant for.

1 Like

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by Fkforyou(m): 12:59pm On Mar 25, 2017
Nice one, make them monitor those thieves... angry
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by Pavore9: 1:02pm On Mar 25, 2017
They should follow it up closely as those Governors can not be trusted.

1 Like

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by CplusJason: 1:02pm On Mar 25, 2017
zicoraads:

He doesn't have to. Abu Lolo won't even touch the money. He'll surely use it for what it is originally meant for.
You think so?


grin
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by zicoraads: 1:04pm On Mar 25, 2017
CplusJason:
You think so?


grin
Hahahahaaa...I know so wink
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by DollarAngel(m): 1:04pm On Mar 25, 2017
Nigeria is finished
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by Nobody: 1:10pm On Mar 25, 2017
trust naija governors, they have private and public plans for the money.

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by olumaxi(m): 1:11pm On Mar 25, 2017
D NLC should be ready for a big show down in a state ruled by CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by Blue3k(m): 1:11pm On Mar 25, 2017
These polical groups suck at lobbying. They should talk to governor yes but make sure state assembly is on board. The state assembly should make rules on this matter. Draft legislation to for them to pass.
Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by wink2015: 1:11pm On Mar 25, 2017
The Federal Government of Nigeria should adopt or copy the Norwegian system of Government were every citizen is planned for or budgeted for by the government.

Sharing allocation every now and then will take us NOWHERE. Infact, it has never taken us anywhere. It only helps to breed corruption.

Most states in Nigeria can not even generate money for their day to day upkeep let alone generate money to support the central or federal government.

Take for example, a state like Zamfara state in North Western part of Nigeria, a state that was created out of Sokoto state, if you look at that state it is one of the poorest state in Northern Nigeria. Jigawa state is very poor also.

Some of our governors are not creative they just seat in state house and be waiting for federal allocation to run their state. When this money is paid they just manage to do some few publicity to create the impression that they are working only to divert the little fund coming to their state to their own private coffers or personal bank account.

Nigeria is a major oil and gas exporter for decades and most of our money is generated from oil exports overseas but with the global slump in oil prices in the international market our revenue dwindled making the federal, state and local government to face financial difficulties. But this difficult time calls for a reawakening of our thinking cap. Yes, our government must brainstorm and creatively look for ways they can generate money internally.

I feel disturbed to see that most of our northern governors are still day dreaming about oil money and they do not want to take advantage of the big land they have in their northern domain to develop Agriculture. They do not know the value Agriculture will bring to their state economy if they invest heavily on it. They want the quick way out which is to wait for federal allocation.

Nigeria has a long way to go and things can only get better if we CHANGE from the actions of the past or yester years that seems to be troubling our development as a nation.

Nigeria is supposed to be rank among countries like: South Korea, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, etc but we are far below this countries due to the high level of corruption that government in Nigeria is grappling with right from the federal, to the state and the local government council. It is all about personal looting of the treasury.

A new sense of direction is needed in Nigeria! Our public officer must show themselves as a role model!

As for the Paris club funds, the federal government must put in strict policy to monitor how our governor spend this allocation. They should not mortgage our livelihood for their selfish needs.

2 Likes

Re: N500b Paris Club Refund: Labour Set For Showdown With Governors by gentlechyke(m): 1:12pm On Mar 25, 2017
My question remains which measures will the NLC adopt to checkmate the excesses of this gluttonous Governors we have? I pity our senior citizens whose right has been rubbished by this pathetic animals in human skin...in Abia precisely, what happens with pensioners is heartbreaking. Still on the outlook for what goes down. These governors have laid-down schematics to divert these funds.

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