Abia owing judges 18 months salary, doctors 12 months – NLC

As of today, Abia is the second-best in school enrolment in Nigeria. We have consistently taken the lead in WAEC examinations for the last four years while our State University has moved up in ranking from No. 99 to No. 26 and is now the second-best State University in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Labour Congress says workers in Abia State work under deplorable condition, saying the state government has refused to implement the minimum wage and also does not pay workers as at when due.

Ayuba Wabba, NLC president raised the concern during a public lecture organised by the National Industrial Court of Nigerian as part of activities marking its 2022/2023 Legal Year which ended on Friday, with the theme, “Labour justice and socio-economic development.”

Ayuba said that judges in Abia state were being owed over 18 months, schools closed and doctors owed over 12 months salaries.

He recalled that he once5ran into a Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, who told him about the sorry state of affairs in Abia State Judiciary.

According to him, the judge told him that because judges in Abia state have not been paid for about 18 months, she had to send stipends to support some of them.

“In that state too, doctors have not been paid for more than 12 months. That is the reality, and schools are closed. And she (the Judge) demanded to know what the labour movement in the State and the NLC were doing on the Abia case, ” he said.

“I quickly checked and found out that the NLC Chairman in the state has retired from service. But, because he is doing the bidding of the government, he approached the government in writing to give him an extension.”

Wabba added that when they heard of the development, the NLC National Executive Council objected to the Abia State Chairman’s request on the grounds that he has retired and that the position of the law is that a retired person cannot continue to lead workers.

The NLC president said rather than allow reason prevail, the Abia NLC Chairman went to court and obtained a perpetual injunction retaining him in office.

He argued that in such a case, the court has failed in its responsibility to always dispense justice.

Wabba said that the economy of nations flourish where labour rights were protected.

He urged the court to always dispense justice without fear or favour to ensure a harmonious relationship in the workplace.

“There is a relationship between a good industrial system and productivity and the ability to attract foreign investment. No investor will come to a country where there is uncertainty, where there is no opportunity for you to seek redress for any wrong”, Wabba said.