Monday, 30 April 2012


The Report of the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee on fuel subsidy which revealed the criminal looting of the nation's resources is a vindication of the Nigerian peoples protest on the issue.
The people had for eight days beginning January 9, 2012 gone on strike, held mass rallies and street protests against Government's mindless increase in the price of fuel, its decision to remove  fuel subsidy and the sleaze in the oil industry.
The Report also vindicates  the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) position stated on December 20, 2011 before President Goodluck Jonathan.  The NLC had at that meeting in the Presidential Villa made allegations of fraud in the subsidy regime and the manipulation of figures in a presentation mader by the Minister of  Finance.
In response, the President had asked the NLC to come up with its facts at the next meeting which was fixed for the new year, but that meeting never held.
For the NLC, the Report is a mere tip of the iceberg; there is the need for further investigations.  For instance, the recommendation that the Executive Secretaries of the PPPRA from 2009 to date be probed, does not go far enough.  There is the need to probe the oil industry from the inception of civil rule after the rapacious military regimes had departed.
Some of the findings of the House Report show clear indication of criminality; therefore it is not enough for private and public organisations like the NNPC and PPPRA to be asked to make refunds.  The Government has a duty to bring the officers of such organizations  and their supervisors to justice.
We also hold that the Ministers in the Finance and Petroleum Ministries and their lieutenants under whose watch the NNPC made unconstitutional deductions from the country's  oil income before dumping the balance in the Federation account, should be investigated for culpability.
The massive looting of the subsidy funds and the corruption in the oil industry  are sufficient grounds for the N97 per litre cost of PMS (petrol) to be drastically reduced.  The NLC holds that if the government plucks up courage to do local refining, the cost of PMS need not be as high as the old price of N65 per litre.
The NLC commends the House of Representatives and its ad hoc Committee for carrying out the probe and mustering the courage to make the Report public.  We also, commend the House leadership for its decision to televise live, the debates on the Report.
We are aware of claims that the Committee Report has been "doctored". It is incumbent on those making such claims to make public the "Original" Report.
The NLC calls on the Presidency and the National Assembly to ensure that the findings of the Report are speedily followed up and implemented. The country cannot continue to be bled by unscrupulous people.

Owei Lakemfa
Acting General Secretary



Dear Comrades of the Press,
We welcome you to this press conference which is focused on informing workers and the Nigerian people about preparations of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to mark the Workers Day on May 1, 2012. 
As you are aware, workers all over the world will be marking the May Day. Nigerian workers under the umbrella of NLC and TUC will also commemorate this day in all the states of the country. At the different state councils of the NLC and TUC workers will on that day hold rallies, and they will be joined by allies of labour in the civil society.
At the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, the day will be marked at the Eagle Square from 9.00am on Tuesday 1st of May 2012. The occasion will be addressed by the Presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar and the Trade Union Congress Comrade Peter Esele. The traditional May Day procession and speeches from the Labour Movement and government functionaries as well as fraternal mass organizations will be part of the occasion.
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, is expected to be the Chief Guest of Honour. The Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House Representatives,  Aminu Tambuwal, the Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed as well as friends of labour in the National Assembly, government, the diplomatic corps, other organisations in civil society are expected to be guests of  the Labour Movement during this occasion.
The occasion of the May Day will be used to highlight the various struggles of the Nigerian workers. This will include the struggle for the National Minimum wage and the removal of the so called subsidy on petroleum products. Of course we cannot but mention the general social and economic challenges of the Nigerian workers and their families as the most vulnerable victims of the state obnoxious policies reflected in worsening social and economic crisis aided by wanton corruption with resultant insecurity in the country.
Thus, the theme of this year’s May Day; Right to Work, Food and Education: Panacea to Insecurity; will dwell on the nexus between employment, food, education and security.  Hence this year’s May Day will address some of the issues on policy thrust to mitigate the prevailing national scourge.
On Monday April 30, 2012, the Labour Movement will hold a symposium on the theme: Right to work, Food & Education:  Panacea to Insecurity. Key paper presentations will be made by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture; Dr.  Akinwunmi Ayo Adesina and Professor Justice Onu of the University of Maiduguri. Comrades Hassan Sunmonu, Peace Obiajulu, former Presidents of NLC and TUC, Senator Uche Chukwumerijie are also expected to make presentations on this theme. Among the special guests to the symposium are; the Comrade Governor of Edo State, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole,   Comrades Pascal Bafyau,  Ali Chiroma, who are past Presidents of the NLC, veterans and friends of labour.
This year’s May Day is particularly significant for so many reasons.  The most important being that this year, precisely on August 19, 2012, we shall be marking the centenary of trade unionism in Nigeria.  As we do this we shall be reflecting on the significant role that labour has played in the process of Nigeria’s development including the triumphs, the challenges and the travails during this 100 years journey.
The contributions of the labour movement within this period of Nigeria’s history have impacted so much on the social, political and economic life of the nation. The occasion of this May Day will therefore be used to kick start the process of this centenary commemoration. We shall critically assess the contributions of labour and the challenges of the working class especially within the context of deepening crises and contradictions of a neo-liberal global ideology, and of course,  the way forward.
We therefore call on all workers and their families, professionals, women groups, youth and informal sector workers to join us in marking this historic day in the life of workers in Nigeria, and indeed the world over.
Let us stand up and be part of history!
Let us align with the forces of struggle for justice in Nigeria!!
Let us unite to salvage our country from the grips of a cabal!!!
It is possible to have another Nigeria where socio-economic justice is the bedrock of our democracy!!!!

Emman Ajoku 
May Day Committee

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Gentlemen of the Press,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

The history of Workers struggle in Dangote Pasta Plant, Ikorodu to get themselves liberated and freed from the shackles of oppression and depression of management could easily be traced back to year 2004 when workers decided on their own to get unionized in consonant with convention 87 Articles of International Labour Organization (ILO Freedom of Association & protection of rights) and equally supported by Section 40 of Nigeria Constitution.

The decision of workers materialized and Branch Union leaders emerged through a popular and a democratic means in 2004.

Surprisingly, a day to the inauguration and introduction of Branch Officers, Dangote management went ahead to terminate the employment of the Seven (7) Officers from the Company.

The Union, however, initiated many legal processes and procedures towards resolving this matter but the management of Dangote
remain recalcitrant which made both parties (NUFBTE & DANGOTE PASTA PLANT) to resort to legal tussle from 2005-2010 when National Industrial Court (NIC) finally ruled in favour of our Union That;-

ü All the affected Officers should be reinstated and
ü All their entitlements be paid from 2004 to December 2009.

ü Unionization of the workers shall be given the utmost priority without further delay to be supervised by both parties to ensure success.

For clarity purposes, the management agreed to pay all outstanding benefits as stipulated by the NIC to the affected Branch Union Officers but refused to reinstate them rather went to Court of Law, filed an appeal and stay of execution.  After series of hearings the motion moved by the management was struck out for lack of jurisdiction on the 15th October 2009.

At this juncture, when management still failed to implement the NIC ruling, the Union went straight to file a committal suit against the management of Dangote for contempt of Court which later led to motion and counter motion.

The Union therefore viewed this endless legal battle with the management in the interest of our members, it was resolved by both parties and their lawyers to finally settle out of court because it
seemed Dangote was not ready to implement to the letter, (the NIC ruling) and only took joy in prolonging the sufferings of the poor workers. 

By May 11th 2010 both parties (Union & Management) and their lawyers, fully represented, in a jointly agreed meeting and fashioned out terms of settlement.

To our Union chagrin surprise, after the inauguration and introduction of Branch Union Officers to the Management of Dangote in accordance with the agreed terms of settling out of court, on the 11th August, 2010, a militia group (thugs) hibernated in the factory, initiated and empowered by the management of the company launched an attack on our members asking them to renounce their union membership including the Union Executive, beat them mercilessly, torn their cloths and put them in a hot container and when management realized that these workers were determined and could not be convinced about 250 workers were all locked out and eventually terminated.

Having understood the gimmick and game played by the management, the Union still went ahead to follow lay down

procedures to whittle down the tension by initiating several fora to resolve the issue because of the fact that we are mindful of fragile
Economic situation but all these were not appreciated rather, thwarted by the management.
It may also interest you to note that at a point Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was brought in to the matter where a meeting was held on 6th October 2011 at the instance of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) with all parties present and adjourned for further consultation with both parties principals, but as we are talking today, Dangote Management has been avoiding further meeting with Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)  on the issue.

As at the point of this Press Conference, the affected workers are being owed Salaries for Twenty (20) months after they have been brutalized and psychologically tortured.  Police force and other Security agents were also used to intimidate and harass these workers to force them to accept the separation severally to no avail.
For the fact that we are not unmindful of the expected action to take, but as a responsible Trade Union Organization we have chosen to exhaust all available legal means that have failed.

Consequent upon aforementioned predicaments, our Union have come to realize that Dangote Group do not want Union of
Workers in all his Companies especially in the Food Industries.

Worse still, there is a particular Human Resources Manager (HRM) named Idris Alli who have been claiming that Alhaji Aliko Dangote would use all his influence to either pervert or completely suppress
any judgments or ruling against the Company wishes at the detriment of toiling workers of the company.

National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) therefore wish to ask, if Dangote Company can terminate 250 Workers at a go for obeying the statutory law of the Country and such Company President (Alhaji Aliko Dangote) is made the Chairman of Employment generation committee for the Country when his company is adding more to already saturated unemployment market.  The answer is better known by individual than being expressed.  It is sure that such Committee is there to protect the interest of capitalist Employers and not really for down-trodden Nigerians and the nation development.

It is on this premise that the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) is now appealing to all well meaning Nigerians, Organizations etc to prevail on the Management of Dangote Pasta to recall & reinstate all the affected members of
our Union, who have suffered untold hardship back to the company within the next Twenty-One (21) days from this Conference, and failure to comply may surely necessitate for further action from the Union.

By this forum, our Union is also informing all the relevant
Government agencies and all security agents to equally advise the Company to tow the path of good conscience and be law abiding. Better late than never.