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Niger NLC threatens statewide shutdown over salary deductions

During a low-key celebration of the 2024 International Workers Day in Minna, the organised labour in Niger State, represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress state chairman, Comrade Idris Lafene, gave the government an ultimatum.


They demanded that the government commence the refund of monies deducted from civil servants for the Contributory Health Care Scheme within 24 hours, or face indefinite industrial action.


The Contributory Health Care Scheme was introduced by the immediate past governor of the state, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bell, where two percent of civil servants’ salaries were being deducted.


Lafene stated, “We woke up today with reports from some of our members that NICARE has started deducting their money. This was not the agreement we had with the Niger State Government. We are calling on the state government to refund our monies as well as bring those that masterminded such illegal deductions to book or the programme will never see the light of the day.”


Governor Mohammed Umar Bago, represented by the Head Of Service Abubakar Salihu, assured the NLC members that the state government would take appropriate action on the issue. As a gesture, Salihu then gave the organised labour the sum of N5 million to the 25 Local Governments in Niger State to ameliorate the difficulties in transportation occasioned by fuel scarcity.


Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, also addressed the workers, assuring them of the state government’s readiness to improve and enhance their welfare. He announced a donation of N2.5 million to support their transportation.


Furthermore, in a paper titled “People’s First,” the chairman of Trade Union Congress in Niger State, Ibrahim Gana, explained that society makes progress if the government accords priority to the wellbeing of its citizens in its policy and decision-making.

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