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NLC Challenges Abia Governor Over Unpaid Salaries, Verification Exercise



NLC Challenges Abia Governor Over Unpaid Salaries, Verification Exercise

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has slammed the Abia State government, particularly Governor Alex Otti, over an ongoing verification exercise that has resulted in many workers going unpaid for over seven months, News About Nigeria reports.

In a circular on Sunday, signed by Okoro Ogbonnaya, state chairman, and Emma Alozie, state secretary, the NLC directed civil and public servants to disregard a new directive from the government to upload their documents online from May 10 to May 31, 2024.

Expressing dismay over the situation, the NLC pointed out the plight of workers who have been left in financial distress due to the delay in payments following the previous verification exercise. 

The circular questioned the necessity of a second verification exercise when many workers are still awaiting resolution from the initial process.

The State Executive Council (SEC) of the NLC, following an emergency meeting on Saturday, May 11, 2024, condemned the government’s unilateral decision to implement the verification exercise without consulting the labour union, which represents the workers’ interests.

The NLC described the repeated verification exercises as regressive, particularly in light of the governor’s initial objective to eliminate ghost workers from the system. 

The circular stated that additional financial burden has been placed on workers by requiring them to go online, further worsening their already bad financial situations.

In light of these concerns, the NLC urged the government to halt the verification exercise immediately to prevent a potential industrial crisis in the state. 

The circular concluded by declaring that no Abia worker in the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the 17 Local Government Areas, should participate in any form of online verification until the issue is resolved through dialogue between the labour union and the government.