by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Workers of failed New Nigerian Newspapers (NNN) have cried out to Chairman Northern States Governors’ Forum, Governor Simon Lalong, of Plateau State, over nonpayment of their accumulated salaries and other benefits.
In a press statement jointly signed by Comrade Friday Idoko, Funmi Aderinto, Usman Nasidi and Emmanuel Bello as Chairmen and Secretaries of the in-house unions on behalf of hundreds of workers, decried the slow pace of the process for the payment of the backlog of their benefits, since 2017.
They lamented with dismay the initiative made since 2017 to sell the assets of the company so as to pay-off salary arrears and other benefits of the staffs, many of whom have died, while awaiting their unpaid standing wages of over 100 months owed by the Northern States Governors.
The union noted that, some huge amounts of money have already been realized from the sales of the company’s property overtimes, urging the Plateau State governor to promptly order disbursement of the sum to workers of the company to alleviate their hardship.
The statement, however, commended efforts of the Northern Governors for ensuring the payment of the company’s pensioners, who had worked with the company under the federal government control.
“The Joint Workers’ Union of NNN, in its Congress held October 25th, 2022, is appealing to the Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), His Excellency, Simon Bako Lalong, to expedite action on the settlement of workers entitlements.
“The Joint Union, comprising members of Nigeria Union Of Journalists (NUJ), National Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Products Union Workers (NUPPPROW) and New Nigerian Chapel expressed serious worry over workers’ plights due to non-payment of salaries for many years, resulting to depression and deaths of over 103 staffs awaiting their entitlements.
“We are appealing to Governor Simon Lalong as a compassionate leader and head of Northern Governors to use his good offices to put smiles on our faces and those of our families by ordering prompt payment of the benefits from the available resources realized out of the sales of the company’s property.
“We have gone through a lot of hardship; many of our compatriots have been ejected by their landlords, many could no longer pay their children’s school fees, many died of one form of ailment or the other as a result of current economic downturn.
“We have so much confidence in your effective leadership built on selflessness, passion to serve and commitment to welfare of your subjects. It is our collective conviction that our appeal will receive the attention it deserves,” the statement added.
Recall that the NNN Company stopped production of its newspapers for over a decade due to alleged “lack of funding and mismanagement.”