17th March, 2011
President, National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Mr. Lateef Oyelekan,Â has urged the new leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to create alternative sources of funding for the unionâ€™s activities.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday, Oyelekan noted that reliance on check-off dues by the NLC to finance its activities was no longer feasible.
â€œCheck-off dues being deducted from workersâ€™ salaries into the unionâ€™s accounts are gradually fading away because of incessant retrenchment of members in some companies.
â€œThe new NLC Executive Council should be proactive and create alternative sources of funds for the Congress.
â€œThis will help to impact positively on the lives of members and the Congress,â€ he said.
Oyelekan urged labour to invest in revenue-generating projects in a bid to stay afloat and reduce the dependence on check-off dues.
He suggested that funds generated from such investments should be distributed among workers as dividends.
â€œIn NUFBTE, retirees in 2010 received 250 per cent increases in their income from what we generated from investments of the union,â€ the labour leader said.
Oyelekan expressed regrets that hundreds of workers in the food industry had lost their jobs for what he called unfavourable economic policies in the country.
The NLC President, Mr. Abdulwahed Omar told NAN on Wednesday on telephone that the Congress would make the trade unions stronger in the years ahead.
He promised internal democracy in the Congress and pursuit of better revenue generation in a bid to reposition the labour movement.
â€œBeing strong calls for deepening of internal democracy in our organizations; it requires conducting the affairs of our unions for the purpose of achieving the interests and goals of our members as workers and as citizens of the country,â€ Omar said.
Omar said the NLCâ€™s bus mass transit project would be revitalized with a view to creating more jobs and sources of funding for the Congress.