Nigeria’s minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, has denied allegations that he had begun moving to proscribe Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Concise News reports.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had on Monday called on the minister to withdraw a letter written to NUPENG, which allegedly directed the union to submit its financial returns within 72 hours.
“What a mischief from two organisations that have traded decorum for cheap propaganda,” Ngige said in a statement by Rhoda Iliya, Head, Press and Public Relations, in the ministry.
“On 13th May, 2019, a letter was written by the Department of Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations (TUSIR) of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, precisely by the Registrar of Trade Union to both the NUPENG and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
“The letter draw the attention of the Unions to the non-rendition of their financial returns for the years 2017 and 2018.
“The letter directed that the unions should comply according to the provisions of Sections 40 and 37(i) of the Trade Unions Act of 2004.
“It states that every registered body shall send to the registrar before 1st June in each year, an annual return in the prescribed form and shall be certified as correct by the duly appointed auditor.
“The NUPENG and TUC being in breach of this Section 37(i), the Registrar of Trade Union invoked Section 40 of the Trade Unions Act Cap T.14(LFN) 2004, which gives the Registrar of Trade Union powers to request that all the books of accounts of defaulting unions be submitted to the Registrar for further scrutiny to make for accountability in the management of the unions’ funds.”
He said that this include check-of dues of workers deducted at source from their salaries.
Ngige explained that the TUC President personally came to the ministry to explain his predicament and asked for extension of time on compassionate ground.