The leadership of Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NURW) has kicked against the planned concessioning of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) assets without transparency and due process by the Federal Government.
In a statement released last Wednesday in Port Harcourt and signed by the union’s National President, Comrade Saidu Garba, the union said that the concession process did not include plans to address all necessary labour related issues and collective bargain of the workers outstanding salaries, promotion and arrears owed the workers.
Garba said that “the Federal Government needs to outline plans to engage the workers on how to solve all evolving labour issues in the planned concession of the corporation assets, stressing that, without the workers’ engagement, the planned concession would be a failure.
He emphasised that workers in the corporation are uncomfortable with the planned concession of the corporation, adding that experiences of privatised government establishments have been stories of failure.
The union leader stated that, the country has not been fortunate enough to get privatisation or concession right probably because of our policy inconsistency, lack of political will coupled with the hasty way concessions are pursued.
He cautioned the government to be more open and transparent especially in the way the inventories of the entire assets of the corporation are being carried out.
He added that, the union had queried how assets of the railway corporation are being handed over to a preferred concessionaire whose document of expression of interest predates the newspaper advert for the bidding.
Garba stressed that, the workers were not opposed to the concession but urged the Federal Government to adopt more transparent approach, due diligence and best good practices in the exercise.