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Published On: Mon, Mar 24th, 2014

Stop private jets jamboree – NLC tells govs, ministers

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By Stanley Onyekwere

Worried by reported level of waste by public office holders in the country, particularly high profile public officers such as state Governors, Ministers and even their aides in the use of hired private jets, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has charged them to create jobs, and stop the private jets jamboree

The Congress expressed concern that state governors and other public office holders, had been alleged to have squandered as much as N130 million monthly to hire and maintain private jets.

“In a country that is in urgent need of development infrastructure that are capable of lifting up our local industries, create real employment, deliver quality social services.

“It is not only sad that our public officers are shamelessly enmeshed in financial recklessness, it is equally condemnable that so much public funds are being expended on acquisition and hiring of private jets even to destinations conveniently plied by commercial airlines.

“It is abhorring that state governors who have always complained of inability to pay the minimum wage to public servants in their states under the pretense of paucity of funds could embark on such wastage at the expense of the sweat and sacrifice of workers and to the detriment of the development of their states,” the NLC President, Abdulwahed Omar, said in a statement, at the weekend.

Omar added that: “The governors, in particular, have collectively made attempts to sponsor bills at the National Assembly to undermine workers interests, particularly on the minimum wage.

“Each time issues of wages come up, they are the first violators, insisting often times that their states lack the resources to accommodate increase in wages while their tastes and thirsts for high profile life styles goes on unabated.”

Meanwhile, the NLC president, said that the allegation that the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke spent N3.120 billion in two years maintaining a private jet would be subject to probe by the House of Representatives, is a welcome development.

According to him, it is nauseating that the minister, whose ministry supervises the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),which has become the most prominent in financial scandals involving public institutions in Nigeria, will chose to be flying in hired private jets while the petroleum industry is sliding in stinking rots.

He added that the probe should equally be extended to the Governors and other public office holders involved in this national shame.

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