Abuja - The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the Federal Government for the release of N714 billion as bailout fund to state governors to clear the backlog of salaries owed to workers.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja and signed by Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, the General Secretary of the congress.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday approved the release of N714 billion intervention fund to state governments to pay the arrears of workers’ salaries.
"We would want to register our appreciation to the Government of the Federation for releasing intervention fund to the states.
"This intervention, no doubt, is a gesture that will go a long way in enabling the states to discharge their obligations to the citizenry.
"It will be recalled that in our submission to the Presidential Transition Committee, we had made the point that Mr President needed to intervene in resolving the issue of backlog of salaries.
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"We are happy that President Muhammadu Buhari has made this happen."
It said that the labour movement was happy that the intervention included all states and not only those owing workers as "this would have been tantamount to rewarding profligacy".
The statement said that the intervention could be appropriately viewed within the prism of legitimacy and normal duty of sharing.
It said it was worth pointing out that it was one thing to disburse funds to the states; it was another thing to ensure that the funds were appropriately applied.
NLC, therefore, urged the president to bring the full weight of his office to bear on the governors in order to ensure that the funds disbursed were well applied.
The statement also said that as a matter of priority, the Federal Government should pay the full arrears of salaries and pensions owed workers and retirees.
It said that NLC would ensure that the its state councils across the country monitored the disbursement and utilisation of the fund.
The statement stressed that the NLC would ensure that any reported case of misapplication elicits an appropriate response from the congress.