Workers in Ekiti State have petitioned the House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts calling for the probe of alleged monthly release of N6 million to labour leaders by former Governor Ayo Fayose for nearly four years.
Acting under the aegis of Ekiti Workers Rescue Team (EWRT), the workers urged the Assembly panel to summon the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman Ade Adesanmi and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Mr. Odunayo Adesoye, to explain how they spent the cash from 2015 to date.
The monthly releases amount to about N264 million.
In the petition, dated November 23, the EWRT claimed that N6 million monthly given to the labour leaders did not reflect in the union’s bank accounts.
It regretted that “the wicked conspiracy and unholy alliance” between Fayose and the labour leaders showed why they could not fight for workers’ rights during the last administration.
The group told the Assembly panel that this constituted a moral burden to the labour leaders, who failed to agitate for the payment of arrears of salaries and allowances under Fayose but consistently hailed him when workers were dying of hunger.
The petition, which was addressed to the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, Gboyega Aribisogan, was signed by EWRT Chairman, Mr. Ojo Ayodeji and Secretary, Mr. W. A. Ajayi.
Attached to the petition was the Auditor General’s Report for the year ended 31 December, 2017, which showed that the TUC received N1 million monthly and the NLC got N5 million monthly under Fayose as “running grants”.
In the report, the Auditor General recommended that “trade unions, irrespective of their closeness to government, should not be treated as government offices”.
It added: “The unions are umbrella bodies for workers whose responsibilities are to see to the welfare of their members.