THE Nigeria Labour Congress has alleged that many workers did not get the COVID-19 palliatives promised by the Federal Government, stating that the money for the programme was misappropriated.
The congress also said that the number of working poor was increasing in the country, noting that the Nigerian workers faced a bleak future.
The FG had claimed that it spent millions of naira on the palliatives, which were reportedly distributed to citizens.
But speaking at the 2020 World Decent Work Day in Abuja on Wednesday, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said there was no reason to hide under the justification of COVID-19 to steal the nation’s resources.
He argued that the government had no excuse not to provide social security for the citizens, attributing the failure to its wrong economic model allegedly dictated by the International Monetary Fund.
Wabba said, “There is no justification whatsoever to hide under COVID-19 and continue to steal our common resources and commonwealth. This is what our political elite is doing.
“Even in the midst of COVID-19, we were told that millions of naira had been used to extend palliatives to citizens and we are aware that many citizens, including workers at the lowest rung of the ladder had also complained that such palliatives did not reach them.”
According to the congress, only about 20 per cent of workers in Africa have social cover, noting that more workers need to be covered by trade unions, so that their rights can be protected.
Wabba disclosed that workers in Abia State were being owed 18 months salaries and added that the NLC had set up two fact-finding committees to investigate the report.
He said, “As we speak, workers in Abia State are being owed 18 months. The retired Chief Justice has also not been paid his retirement benefits and he had to drag the state to court.
“We have commissioned two teams to go and look into this and bring us reports. We also call on the authorities of that state to pay the workers.”