The Organised Labour Union in Ebonyi state has boycotted the official inauguration of a 90-unit housing estate for workers in the state over excclusion of members during allocations by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FCMB).
It reports that the housing estate, called “Workers Village” is located at Ugwuachara, along old Enugu Express way, Abakaliki, Ebonyi capital.
Mr Ikechukwu Nwafor, state’s Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in a press conference on Thursday, decry the way workers are being treated in terms of well-beings and other opportunities across states of the federation.
Nwafor called the federal and state government to call FMBN to order and to reverse the allocations processes at ensuring that the rightful workers from the state benefited.
“This is a project (NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and National Employers Consultation Association (NECA) Housing) built with the money I have been contributing for many years, now, my time to benefit, you excluded me out. That’s not fair.
“I have asked the developers to tell me one single workers from Ebonyi that benefited from the allocations but non was mentioned. We have boycotted the commissioning, let them go ahead; but I urge the federal government to call the FMBN and the developers to order.
“We are here today, to stage protests and boycott the commissioning of the Housing because we have been excluded from benefiting and we are not happy.
“We received an invitation from the Federal Mortgage Bank Management inviting NLC, TUC, NECA to join in commissioning of a workers’ village.
“This is an estate built for workers to pay some amount and have those buildings. We also know that workers in Ebonyi have been contributing into housing fund?
“Today, Thursday, the Housing is being commissioned but we discovered with dismay that the whole of these buildings have been sold out and no workers from the state have even one.
“We have approached the FMBN management and they frankly told us that the buildings have been sold off. That Ebonyi people were not coming forth when there were selling them.
“They were shocked, when I told them that, no one told me when they were selling it and non of my members was aware of the selling untill today that they invited us for the commissioning.
“We, the worker are not part of the inauguration. This is so disheartening that Ebonyi people are not part of the beneficiaries of the building estate.
“We urging that the inauguration be verified and the procees of which those houses were being sold be verified and reversed for interest of justice.
Mr Kingsley Chukwuma, Executive Director, Business, Development and Portfolio Management of FMBN agreed that the partnership between the bank and the organised Labour made the project a reality.
Chukwuma explained that the 90 units housing estate comprised of 3 and 2 bedroom bungalows.
On whether workers’ from Ebonyi benefited from the housing, the Director said that everyone were carried along during the allocations.
“Actually, this project is for Nigeria workers and this is part of their monthly contributions and a lot of beneficiaries have been packaged.
“It is a kind of affordability house for workers, especially the civil servants,” he Said.
The Ebonyi Workers Village Estate, identified as FMBN-NLC/TUC/NECA Collaborative Housing Estste, was developed by an indigenous contracting firm, COPEN Service Limited.