Organised labour on Friday commended the decision of the Federal Government to sanction trade unions that had failed to submit details of their yearly audited accounts to the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Labour and employment minister Chris Ngige as saying recently that many trade unions had failed to submit their audited accounts in the past 10 years.
The union leaders, in separate interviews in Abuja, noted that such conduct negated the Trade Union Act which stipulated a stringent annual submission of audited accounts for unions.
The Secretary-General, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Mr Alade Lawal, said that the law on the rendition of account was very clear adding that there was no need for any union to be reminded to file its reports.
“The law on the issue of rendition of account is very clear. The minister is just reiterating what is contained in the law and as legal bodies, I don’t think we need to be reminded of what the law says.
“If we don’t obey the law, we would not have the moral latitude to condemn government or the malpractices that are inherent in governance on a regular basis,’’ Lawal said.
According to him, he who seeks equity must come with clean hands
“If we condemn government for failing to do things right, I don’t think we should also be caught in the crossfire of non-rendition of account.
“As far as we are concerned, we are up to date; we have filed our returns for 2018 and we are progressing with that of 2019.’’
The National President, Nigeria Civil Service Union, Mr Lawrence Amaechi, said that the non-rendition of account was an offence and should not be taken lightly.
“The minister is right because, at the end of every year, you have to render account with the office of the Registrar of Trade Unions.
“Any union that doesn’t do it is supposed to be de-registered. So the minister is right,’’ Amaechi said.
According to him, the minister had wanted to de-register some trade unions.
“I am in support of doing the right thing; let unions go and do their rendition.
“At the beginning of a new year, you file in for the previous year.
“Your auditors should audit your account; when they give you a certificate, you should submit same at the office of the Registrar of the trade union.’’
President of the Trade Union Congress, Mr Quadri Olaleye, also echoed Amaechi, declaring that the union was “solidly behind the minister”.
“The union is not against the minister’s pronouncement. Under normal circumstances, unions are supposed to submit their accounts as at when due.
“If there is any union that has not been submitting account, such union should face the consequences.
“We at TUC frown at that and we have encouraged everybody to submit the audited accounts as at when due.
“If anybody should be having outstanding, it should not be more than 2018.
“By now, if the minister has unions that have not submitted their audited accounts for 10 years, let him take action on that; we are not averse to correction,’’ he said.