Barely twenty-four hours after the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday, embarked on a 7-day warning strike, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, has made known the negative implication this could have.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by Mr Idris, he explained that the strike has also affected Government workers whose job it is to ensure the early release of funds for September salaries.
As a result of this, early payment of workers’ salaries cannot be guaranteed because those in charge of the process are locked out of their offices.
He narrated how he got to work on Thursday only to discover that his office was under lock and keys. He and his staff had been denied access to their workplace.
He said he had to plead with the protesting union members before they could grant access to him and some others. Afterwards, the entrance remained locked even as most of his staff remained shut out of their offices.
“I must explain that salary payment involves a number of processes that do not begin and end with the OAGF. There are other critical stakeholders like the Cash Management Department in the Ministry of Finance and others, who are supposed to do their beat before we can finalise.
“On coming to the office this morning, we met the gates of the office locked and wondered how we could keep this promise if we are being locked out of the office.
“We are all working for the same system and we should do nothing that can threaten the economy and lead to the collapse of the same system.” – Idris
Mr Idris, therefore, called on Labour to call off the warning strike to enable his office to fulfil a mandate given to them by President Muhammadu Buhari to always pay salaries on time.
As we reported, national leaders of the Nigerian Labour Congress came to an agreement to proceed on the warning strike, with the intention of pressing home their demand for a minimum wage increase. The industrial action eventually commenced yesterday, affecting many establishments including those in the public and private sectors.