Former labour leader flays NLC over invasion of Ngige’s residence

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A former secretary of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), David Azuokwu, has condemned the recent invasion of the residence of Chris Ngige, minister of labour, by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
The NLC’s action is alien to labour laws, Azuokwu said, describing the invasion of minister’s private residence and threat to his life as criminal.
“The NLC actions, led by Ayuba Wabba, its president, is unknown to Nigerian and international labour extant laws guiding trade dispute and grievances.
“The illegal invasion in the guise of picketing the private residence of Ngige is highly condemnable and should not be allowed in the country,” he said.
Azuokwu submitted that the invasion, which was supposedly to pressure the minister to inaugurate Frank Kokori as chairman of the NSITF, was a lawless action.
“The appointment of any qualified Nigerian into political office at the federal level is at the prerogative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or by the recommendation of the supervisory minister, in this case, the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“The provision of Section 4(1) (a) of the 1993 NSITF Act, vested the sole power to make recommendation for the Appointment of the Chairman of the Board of NSITF to the President on the Minister of Labour and Employment.”
Azuokwu therefore called on the National Executive Council, Central Working Committee and all other organs of NLC to call its president to order, as according to it, Wabba had no power to query any appointment made by the President on the recommendation of the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“I believed that the intervention of these organs will save the congress from being dragged into the mud and forget its important internal matters. The NLC needs to focus

Showdown between FG, NLC inevitable over NSITF Board

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The Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) appear to have intensified their face-off over the constitution of the Board of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), even as NLC on Sunday demanded that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, inaugurate the Board of the NSITF under the chairmanship of Frank Ovie Kokori before the 2019 May Day.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment had through a statement announced the replacement of Comrade Kokori with Austine Enajemo-Isere and his transfer to the Board of Michael Imodu National Institute of Labour Studies (MINLS) Ilorin, a diploma-awarding institution in Labour Relations as Chairman, which it added followed due process and has the necessary presidential approval.
“The approval for this exercise was given by the appropriate approving authority which is the President and duly communicated to the Ministry of Labour and Employment. This is also in line with the Act establishing the NSITF which confers such powers on the President on the recommendation of the Hon. Minister,” the ministry had said.
NLC however, disagreed with the Ministry’s position and mobilised its men to oppose it.  NLC President Ayuba Wabba had alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Kokori as the Chairman of Board of the NSITF but that the Minister Ngige changed the appointment.
The NLC President in a statement on Sunday demanded that Minister inaugurate the Board of the NSITF under the chairmanship of Chief Kokori before the 2019 May Day.
“If Kokori has been declared by renowned world leaders as prisoner of conscious and has been appointed by Mr President, the minister had no right to manipulate the process by changing it,” the union leader said.
“Kokori has not been informed that there is a new chairman of the board. The minister had