The NITEL workers are asking for full payment of their 10 month salary arrears.
The head office of the Nigerian Telecommunication Limited, NITEL, in Abuja was on Thursday sealed off by its staff, who were protesting the non-payment of 10 months’ salary arrears.
No fewer than 50 members of staff participated in the peaceful protest.
President of the Senior Staff Association of the worker’s union, Elais Kazzah, said the protest is a warning to the management, adding that the workers expected it to act on the matter within one week..
“If after the seven days nothing is heard, we know where to go to.’’
He said that the workers unanimously agreed on the action to ensure that the NITEL management and the Bureau of Public Enterprises pay the arrears.
“We heard that the documents for these payments had been submitted to the relevant organs, but for the past 10 months we continue to hear stories from BPE.”
He disagreed with the claim that the payment documents are being delayed by the office of the Vice President, saying “the vice president is a seasoned politician and cannot expose Nigerians to suffering”.
Mr. Kazzah noted that the affected staff are finding it extremely difficult to meet their basic responsibilities to their families.
He also noted that the security men assigned to safe-guard NITEL property in the country had not been paid for 15 months.
Mr. Kazzah appealed to the Federal Government to either privatise or take over the company to save its equipment from further decay.
The Chief Executive Officer of NITEL, Zainab Illiyasu, did not respond to calls on her mobile lines, but it was gathered that the management of the company had held an emergency meeting with officials of the Ministry of Communication on the issue.
The federal government had recently adopted a ‘guided liquidation strategy to privatise NITEL and its mobile arm, M-TEL, due to its huge indebtedness.