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NITEL union gives government ultimatum

09 October 2012, 12:47

Abuja - The Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) Staff Union has given the Federal Government a two-weeks ultimatum to settle the issue of the 10 months salary arrears owed its members.

The union had on Thursday sealed off the head office of NITEL in Abuja over the non-payment of the salary arrears.

The National President, Elias Kazzah, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that the management of NITEL asked for more time to liaise with Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) on the matter.

He explained that they had agreed to give the government two weeks to resolve the issues, adding that the union was working on a number of strategies should the government fail.

``The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITEL, Zainab Illiasu, told us that the management was working to resolve the issues.

``She told us that the representative of Vice President Namadi Sambo told the management at the board meeting that they are working to ensure that approval is given by BPE to release the money.

``Based on that, we gave them the opportunity of two weeks with the hope that all the issues will be addressed before the time elapses.’’

Kazzah told NAN that a small committee was also set up to facilitate and monitor the process of discussions among NITEL management, BPE and the union.

``However, the union has resolved that we would regroup after and adopt a strategy which may include lobbying relevant personalities including the PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur.’’

The labour leader said that his members felt the government was slow in addressing their case and asked for more commitment from the government.

NAN reports that the union tagged the protest a warning to the management adding that the workers expected it to act on the matter within one week.

``If after the seven days nothing is heard, we know where to go to.’’

``We heard that the documents for the payment had been submitted to the relevant organs, but for the past 10 months, all that we have heard from the BPE are stories.''

Kazzah appealed to the Federal Government to either privatise or take over the company to save its equipment from further decay.

NAN recalls that the Federal Government recently adopted a ‘guided liquidation strategy’ to privatise NITEL and its mobile arm, M-TEL.


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