ULC wants minister to exercise caution over demand on NUPENG

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United Labour Congress (ULC) has urged the federal ministry of labour and employment and its presiding minister, Chris Ngige to exercise caution on the demand on Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to present its audited account to the ministry within three days.

Recall that the ministry in a letter dated May 13, 2019 had demanded that NUPENG should submit to it within 72 hours audited reports of the union’s accounts for 2017 and 2018.

NUPENG on receipt of the letter had raised concerns and alleged that the minister was planning to proscribe the union because of its (NUPENG) involvement in the recent picketing of Ngige’s residence in Asokoro, Abuja, by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

During the picketing, which was triggered by the disagreement between organised labour and the minister over the ‘failed’ appointment of Frank Kokori, a former general secretary of NUPENG, as chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), NUPENG had deployed two tankers to block the minister’s residence.

Joe Ajaero, president of ULC, a body to which NUPENG affiliates, said on Wednesday, that the urgency with which the ministry of labour was demanding the audited reports of NUPENG, was an ill wind that could trigger an industrial unrest.

“The rules are very clear regarding such requests by the ministry. The law provides for thirty clear days instead of the three days demanded by the operatives of the Ministry of Labour. When laws are flagrantly disregarded by those who are supposed to be its custodian, it raises other questions. If the request was for the purposes of probity and standards in the industry, why resort to impunity in pursuing it or perhaps, there is an indecent haste to achieve a devious end,” said Ajaero.

The ULC expressed worry …