BREAKING NEWS: Nigerian Defence Industries staff threaten protest over unpaid wage award

Nigerian Defence Industries staff threaten protest over unpaid wage award

Nigerian Defence Industries staff threaten protest over unpaid wage award

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Staff of the Defence Industries of Nigeria, DICON, in Kaduna State, have threatened to protest over the failure of the President Bola Tinubu-led government to pay the N35,000 wage award promised to them for six months.

The aggrieved workers expressed dismay at the government’s failure to fulfill its own promise despite the hardship currently being faced by Nigerians following the removal of the fuel subsidy.

Recall that Tinubu had announced in his October 2023 Independence Day speech that his administration would pay the sum of N35,000 to active workers and N25,000 to pensioners as wage awards pending the conclusion of negotiations on a new minimum wage.

Although the government commenced payment to active workers, the scheme was suspended before it resumed in December 2023 after pressure from organised labour.

Some staff of DICON, however, revealed that they had not received payment for any month since the program began in September 2023, while all other civil servants had been paid for all six months.

They called on the Federal Government to quickly resolve the issues causing delays in receiving their entitlements, stating that they are exhausted by the financial procedures at DICON, and they may soon express their frustration through protest.

One of the staff said, “We are aggrieved and may soon protest again over the several meetings between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Congress, where the Federal Government stated that it has started and completed payment of the N35,000 wage award promised for six months.

“Till now, the staff of DICON have not received payment for any month since the program began in September 2023, while all other civil servants have been paid for all six months.

“We are also worried about the disappearance of our 2019 minimum wage arrears that have been cleared by the federal government. We believe that our management is presently seeking to gain time so that they can overlap the 2024 minimum wage arrears with the 2019 arrears, thereby completely misappropriating the staff’s allowance.

“We believe in the principles of justice and fairness that this administration stands for, with unwavering faith in Mr President’s anti-corruption crusade and the integrity of his government. We humbly employ you to lend us your assistance in this dire situation.

“We are hopeful that your intervention would make a world of difference in helping us retrieve our embezzled money from DICON management and restore a sense of financial security to the staff of DICON.

“We call on the Federal Government to swiftly resolve the issues causing delays in receiving our entitlements.

“We are exhausted by the financial procedures at DICON and also proffer a lasting solution to the common delay and day-to-day robbery of DICON staff by ensuring that DICON staff are enrolled in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), which most civil servants are on and which also helps the government ensure that the financial welfare of staff is not diverted.”

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