The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has picketed the headquarters of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Abuja.
The protest which is to last for three days was led by the NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba. The protest started in the morning with the premises of the Commission blocked, members of NLC carrying placards, dancing and chanting solidarity songs and preventing workers from gaining access into the building.
Speaking at the protest, the President Nigeria Labour Congress , Comrade Ayuba Wabba alleged that the Commission’s Registrar General, Garba Abubakar stalled staff promotion and brought in environmental experts to fumigate the agency for N35million in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, including contracting someone to paint the Zone 5 annex office for N25million.
Ayuba further alleged that the Registrar transferred married women who are staff out of the Commission.
He further alleged that the commission forbids staff from unionizing which is against the labuor laws.
“The right to negotiate, the right to respect collective bargaining. Basically, we are saying that you cannot refuse to implement the collective bargaining agreement and respond by transferring Union officials with impunity, including married women from their husbands. That cannot be accepted and that is why we are here.
He has also tried to deploy thugs. We have seen some trying to set fire on our vehicles using fuel. We have captured their pictures and he will be held responsible.We have also exposed the nefarious activities that have been going on here”.
“Car park N250 million, fumigation alone he spent N35 million. He said that he used N70 million to train Directors during COVID-19 and painting of CAC in Wuse, zone 5. The money that is meant for workers salary is what he is using to spend on bogus contracts that does not have direct bearing to the lives of this organisation.
He should come out before Nigerians and defend himself” he said.
Reacting to some of the allegations, the Director, Public Affairs, Corporate Affairs Commission Mr Duke Ukaga who spoke on behalf of the commission said the allegations are false as the Commission is law abiding and is doing everything possible for the betterment of the organization.
On the issue of unionization, He said that the Commission is only obeying the Court judgement and till date, there has been no injunction or stay of execution order.
“The claim that management has refused to allow them unionize freely and are being compelled to join a particular labour union is not true. The Commission, being a very law abiding organisation is obeying the rules of the National Industrial Court, which gave a ruling in December 2019 and May 2020 stating categorically that the union which most of the staff had joined Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), was a junior staff union and not applicable to senior staff. This is in line with the Trade Union Act 2004 and 2005”.
Reacting to issue of transfer, he said “there is a standing rule in the public service about spouses working in the same department and office. For the reorganisation of the organisation, the management might in their wisdom post any staff anywhere. Even in their letters of appointment, it’s stated clearly that their appointment is at the pleasure of the Commission and they may be sent to work in any of the branches. So, for one to say that there have been unjustly sent somewhere, it’s not true”.
On the issue of embezzlement, he strongly refuted the claim saying “Though I’m not into fumigation, we have a standard for fumigation considering the type and size of the building. I can assure you that our management cannot embezzle any government money.