Barring any change of plans, the newly formed United Labour Congress (ULC) has resolved to embark on an indefinite strike in a few days. The reason is pretty straightforward and wholly justified, the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) last year uncovered a fraud of about 30 billion naira at the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
It is important to state that the NSITF was established to raise funds to cater for the welfare of Nigerian workers with a dedicated counterpart funding from the Federal government. However, the looting coordinated under the former leadership of Umar Abubakar was exposed via a whistleblower, prompting the EFCC’s action.
At the moment the NSITF is without a governing board as the Minister of Labour has declined to constitute a new board due to the unresolved fraud perpetrated by the former board. The individuals involved in the fraudulent act are currently answering questions from the anti0graft agency.
The role played by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in this quagmire is one that needs to be investigated closely. As much as the investigation is still on, it is evident the NLC has a case to answer. The NLC according to the rules establishing the NSITF are board members to represent the interest of workers and they were fully represented at the time the crime occurred.
How did the looting happen in an environment that has labour union representatives? One is forced to speculate that there has been some sort of betrayal from some persons in the NLC. As it stands, officials of the union have kept mum on the issue. The silence of convenience is unacceptable as Nigerian workers are eager to know the whereabouts of this fund.
Now that it seems that they’ve joined the league of those that impoverish Nigerian workers, is there any hope for the common man in Nigeria?