By Yekeen Nurudeen
Crisis is brewing between the organised labour movements and Kaduna State government over the planned sale of government quarters in the state to alleged political office holders.
The two major labour unions, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC in a joint press statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja lamented that the decision of the Kaduna State Executive Council was without recourse to all relevant stakeholders in the state especially the workers of Kaduna State who are the creators of wealth and the legal occupants of the properties.
The statement signed by Adamu Ango and Shehu Mohammed, Chairmen, Kaduna State Councils of NLC and TUC respectively said the entire workers of Kaduna State Government were taken aback by a paid advert in the Daily Trust Newspapers, Vol. 42 No 1 of Monday 27th February, 2017, relating to the sales of government quarters in the state to the political officeholders disguised in the name of highest bidders.
The Congresses said it was unfortunate that the Civil Servants working for the state government and who are currently occupying the quarters were never given option of first refusal before the extension of offer to the general public.
The condition of payment for potential buyers, the labour bodies said, was contrary to the provision of the Federal Government Mortgage Bank arrangement of issuing loans to the Civil Servants from all over the federation.
“Another area of concern to the public servants of the state, who receives peanut as salaries and wages when compare with those of the political office holders of the state, was the mode of payments for these quarters after being sold to the individual buyers.
“That is, payment of 25 percent of purchase price (including 10 percent non-refundable deposit), must be made to the Kaduna State Government within 90 days of being declared winner. Balance of 75 percent must be paid by all purchasers within an additional 90 days, thus, all purchasers must effect full payment within 180 days of contract.
“From the above condition, tell me which Civil Servant of the state can afford this payment. This condition in the first instance is contrary to the provision of the Federal Government Mortgage Bank arrangement of issuing loans to the Civil Servants from all over the federation,” they said
They however called on the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai to give workers who are the legal occupants of government houses unconditional right of purchase or option of first refusal.
“We make haste to advice that the Kaduna State Government should borrow a leaf from the Federal Government which in its monetization programme gave workers who are the legal occupants of government houses an unconditional right/option of first refusal, this is more so that the Federal Government policy was midwife by the selfsame Mallam Nasiru El-Rufa’i,” They advised.