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Published On: Thu, Aug 14th, 2014

NLC Tasks Uduaghan on N1.5b Retirees’ Benefit, Passes Vote of No Confidence on Okeme

Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and Special Adviser to the State Governor on Labour and Industrial Relations Matters, Comrade Mike Okeme

LAGIS AUGUST 14TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Delta State Council has noted with dissatisfaction Delta State government’s unfulfilled promise of a monthly release of N1.5 billion from internally generated revenue (IGR) to offset the backlog payment of retirees’ benefits.
They also passed vote of no confidence on Special Adviser to the State Governor on Labour and Industrial Relations Matters, Comrade Mike Okeme whom they described as constituting himself as a cog in the wheel of progress of NLC, Delta State.

Reacting in a communiqué titled, “ Resolutions of the State Executive Council (SEC) Meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Delta State Council” held in Asaba, Delta State, on Thursday
August 7, 2014, signed by Comrade Williams Akporeha, Chairman, NLC, Delta State, the Union alleged that ever since the state government made the promise it had released the N1.5b only once, adding that since then, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan’s government had been releasing a paltry N500 million which is not even regular.
The communique which pointed out that the action of Delta State government has resulted in the accumulation of unpaid retirees’ benefits which had been on astronomical increase however resolved and strongly suggested to government that due to the increasing number of workers that have not been paid their gratuities lump sum at the point of exit, retiring workers henceforth should continue to be paid their monthly salaries until they receive their gratuities.
The Congress which said it truly and deeply appreciated continuous and pragmatic efforts of the state government to enhance the welfare of the state workforce as demonstrated in its maintenance record of prompt payment of workers’ salaries on as at when due basis however observed with utter dismay and disappointment the unbecoming conduct of an erstwhile Labour leader in the state and present Special Adviser to the State Governor on Labour and Industrial Relations Matters, Comrade Mike Okeme whom they alleged had constituted himself as a cog in the wheel of progress of NLC, Delta State Council by collecting from Government ten buses meant for the State NLC’s mass transit, hijacking and appropriating monies meant for the Congress, usurping the powers of SAC members,
deliberately destabilizing the activities of labour in the state and trying to cause serious and harmful but avoidable acrimony between Labour and Government.
“ Government should not deal with Comrade Okeme on behalf of Labour any more. Government should deal directly with Labour through the State Chairman.Congress subsequently passed a vote of no confidence on the SA to the Governor on Labour Matters, Comrade Mike Okeme and declared him a *persona non grata* to the State NLC. In the light of the above the Government should review the appointment of Comrade Mike Okeme.
“ In his bid to personally run the NLC from his office as Special Adviser to the Governor, Mike Okeme insisted to personally operate the 10 buses donated by the state government in 2012 for workers mass transit in the state as palliatives for partial fuel subsidy removal. Typically, Mike Okeme only succeeded in operating those buses within his office at the detriment of workers for which they were meant. Congress has used every available opportunity to urge him to refrain from seeking this unnecessary luxury of grandstanding on activities of labour movement in the state to no avail. No doubt, Congress respects individual’s right to seek or sponsor ambitions but would resist all attempts to polarize Labour movement as such
ambitions can only be realised in an atmosphere of industrial harmony in the state.
“That having exhausted all available means to dissuade Mike Okeme from his ignoble venture to bring Labour to its knees in Delta state, Congress unanimously resolves that henceforth, it ceases to recognise and deal with Comrade Mike Okeme as the Special Adviser, Labour and Industrial Relations Matters to the Delta State Governor. For the avoidance of doubt, Congress
hereby notifies Government that letters from Congress to Government and Government to Congress shall only be routed through the office of the Secretary to the State Government as it was the process before now.
“All Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA’s) should take note as Congress shall no longer honour, acknowledge or be involved in meetings, correspondences and engagements with Mike Okeme as Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour and Industrial Relations Matters,” the communiqué maintained.

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