|Recently, International Worker’s Day was celebrated in Nigeria amid various parades with their fellow counterparts around the world. Ironically, the issue of non-payment of salaries and pensions in Nigeria has worsened with the excruciating pain and cries of the nation’s labor force.|
On May 10, Punch reported that the Benue State local government teachers were being owed 10 months’ salary arrears. Meanwhile, state government workers are currently owed eight months, and pensioners are owed 38 months, respectively.
Article 23, paragraph 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that:
“Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.”
Similarly, Section 15 of the Nigerian Labor Act provides –
“Wages shall become due and payable at the end of each period for which the contract is expressed to subsist, that is to say, daily, weekly, or at such other period as may be agreed upon: Provided that, where the period is more than one month, the wages shall become due and payable at intervals not exceeding one month.”
Regrettably, there is no provision for punishment for an employer’s refusal to pay salary under the Labor Act. It is submitted that the absence of any penal or civil consequences on the employer that fails, refuses, or neglects to pay salary and pension under the extant laws is a challenge the workers are confronted with in Nigeria. Hence there is a need for legislative intervention in that regard.
Despite the above, the cry of those aged workers over the neglect of the government to pay their pension is appalling and unacceptable. A laborer is worthy of his wages, says the Holy Book (I Timothy 5:18). You cannot deny workers their wages, salaries, and pension and pretend to celebrate the same workers. This is absurd!
This issue must be addressed at the state and federal government levels head-on. Denying the workers of their pay and pension is a flagrant abuse of workers, which shares the trait of a slave trade, to say the least.
|HRF facilitated the release of indigent client, Akomolafe Kayode on May 10, 2023, at an Ondo State High Court, after awaiting trial and incarcerated for 5 years. The case was struck out due to a “No Case Submission.”|
L-R: HRF-West Coordinator, A.Y. Aliyu, and Akomolafe Kayode.
|HRF represented indigent clients, Mustapha Suleiman and Onah Friday on May 10, 2023, at an Ondo State High Court, after awaiting trial and incarcerated for 5 years. The court ruled in their favor for a “No Case Submission.” Hence, they were discharged and acquited.|
L-R: Mustapha Suleiman, and HRF-West Coordinator, A.Y. Aliyu, and Onah Friday.
|HRF facilitated the release of indigent client, Muhammed Jamiu on May 10, 2023, at an Ondo State Magistrate Court, after awaiting trial and incarcerated for 2 years. The case was struck out after the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) exonorated the defendant. However, his release documents was sent to the wrong prison. Hence, his plight was drawn to our attention for representation.|
L-R: HRF-West Coordinator, A.Y. Aliyu, and Muhammed Jamiu.