The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has denied the allegations by the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that he was on a vendetta mission to proscribe NUPENG.
It would be recalled that the NLC had on Monday called on the minister to withdraw a letter written to NUPENG, which allegedly directed the union to submit its financial returns within 72 hours. Ngige in a statement on Tuesday however described the allegation by the labour union as cheap and unconscionable lies.
He explained that last week, a letter was written by the Department of Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations (TUSIR) of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, to both the NUPENG and Trade Union Congress, TUC, drawing their attention to the non-rendition of their financial returns for the years 2017 and 2018.
Ngige further explained that the letter directed that the unions should comply according to the provisions of the Trade Unions Act of 2004. He explained that the TUC President personally came to the ministry to explain his predicament and asked for extension of time on compassionate ground. The minister noted that the NUPENG had instead resorted to propaganda.
Ngige said that it is evident that the ministry was only carrying out its statutory functions and warned the leadership of NUPENG to desist from misleading the public by spreading false information about the ministry.