CAC says protest illegal as NLC grounds operations

Published February 25, 2021
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday grounded the operations of the Corporate Affairs Commission as hundreds of workers staged a protest at the CAC headquarters in Abuja .
Members of the organised labour union said the protest was to kick against the anti- workers ’ policies of the management of CAC .
They alleged that the Registrar-General of the commission , Garba Abubakar , had resolved to punish some employees of the agency for not supporting in his anti -workers ’ policies .
Speaking on behalf of the workers during the protest in Abuja, the President , NLC, Ayuba Wabba, claimed that the management of CAC used about N 396 m to build a car park and carry out functions without proper accountability .
He further alleged that the CAC boss had forcefully transferred married female workers out of Abuja at the detriment of their various families.
Wabba said, “ All the female workers with their husbands who are working here, he ( Abubakar) transferred them away and left their husbands here causing problems in their various homes.
“ We are here to make the point and to ensure that workers ’ rights are not meant to be trampled upon . The fundamental issue is not about unionization ; no!
“ It is about respecting workers ’ rights . It is not about the issue of membership but about defending the workers ’ rights .”
The NLC president said the protest would linger for three days until the CAC boss speaks on the allegations against the commission ’ s management .
He said, “ We will be here for three days . He should come out to address workers because we have raised some fundamental issues of how he used N 250m to build a car pack .
“ Also , how he used N 35 m to fumigate an office in Zone 5; he used N 25 m to paint the office, while N 86 m was used to upgrade CAC server . These are why he is afraid because the union has exposed him .”
Wabba added , “ This is why he is fighting the unions . So we are saying , we have raised these issues openly, let him come out and defend himself.
“ He is not fighting the union because of membership but because the unions have exposed him. ”
During the protest , some thugs attempted to burn NLC vehicles parked in front of the commission by pouring petrol on the vehicles , but this was halted by the police .
Reacting to the protest by NLC, an official in the press unit of CAC , Rasheed Mahe , told our correspondent that the labour union was trying to violate the ruling of an industrial court.
He said , “ The issue revolves around the judgement of the industrial court and the NLC is trying to violate that judgement .”
He added that the industrial court had ruled that the junior staff union , which is an affiliate of NLC, could not unionise the senior staff of CAC .
“ And so the management of CAC now implemented that judgement in December 2019 and in May 2020 , which is in line with the Labour Act of 2005 and 2005 . ”

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