*Politicians Show True Colour
*NCSU, NLC protest
It is now official that several governors, if not all, diverted significant amounts from the bailout funds made available to pay wages last year, by the Federal Government. This has drawn the anger of trade unions, particularly the Nigeria Civil Service Union, and the trade union federations.
It would be recalled that 27 states’ governments applied for bailout funds from the federal government in September last year, ostensibly to settle backlogs of workers’ salaries they were owing. 23 have received amounts adding up to N338bn. It has now been established that 16 of them have squandered significant portions of the funds they received while some actually were not owing workers but had lied to access the funds for other purposes.
Imo state for example collected N26,806,430.000.00 from the CBN. Out of this, it paid N2bn into a government house account, another N2bn into a so-called “project account”, and yet another N2bn into a microfinance bank. It also paid N21, 017, 810 into an unspecified account as “management fee”.
Adamawa state on its own part disbursed just N2,378,360,000.00 for the payment of wages out of the N9,578,360, 000.00 it received. The Benue state cannot account for N 1.650.903.084.52 out of what it received. This includes the questionable payment of N37,760,000 twice to the office of the deputy governor.
Osun state where the governor claims to be a Marxist received N34.988.990.000.00 and only disbursed N16.311,765.418 as at the end of last year, despite a series of protests by workers. To rub insult upon injury, the governor, Mr Aregbesola who is renowned for white elephant projects aims at sacking workers!
The Enugu state government which received N10,174,238,681.19 still claims that it is yet to access the funds. Meanwhile, it has used N5, 967,238,681.19 to pay its indebtedness to contractors, who are friends and cronies of the bosses in government.
Kebbi state as well was granted N7.080.000.000.00, but disbursed a mere N2,617,152,577.20, leaving N4,463,975,420.27 unaccounted for.
Zamfara state’s government stands out amongst this band of thieves. It was not owing any backlog of salaries when it applied for N32.5bn from the bailout fund. It has thus far received N10bn. After receiving this, its state house of assembly approved the use of the funds for the payment of contractors who had supplied commodities such as fertilizers and vehicles.
This shameless drama of the absurd by the states’ governments further shows that the bosses’ class politicians do not mean well for working class-people. As far as they are concerned, we might as well just simply die of hunger and want.
The trade unions need to mount a rolling series of rallies and protest marches against demanding the resignations of the governors of these states for fraud and anti-worker designs. It is not enough to have the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) which has made this information public investigate them. We have seen how several earlier cases end up in shrouded circumstances. All institutions of the state primarily serve the bosses’ class.
We, the working class, who are the victims in this case, must take the struggle to the governments. It is also very clear from this exposé that, there is absolutely no justification for the governors’ claim of inability to pay salaries. We must clearly and boldly call for a living wage as the new national minimum wage now!
by Segun Ogun