KADUNA APRIL 14, 2017 – The Nigeria Union of Textile Garment Workers (NUTGW) has appealed to the Kaduna State Government to ensure the reopening of shut textile industries and payment of workers’ gratuity.
Its Deputy Secretary-General Comrade Dele Ojo, urged the government to reopen the factories in the interest of the people.
He said: “People are suffering; those displaced when the factories were closed are still in trouble. Even though we do not have the statistics as to how many have lost their lives, we know the situation is such that everybody is concerned about the welfare of the people that were displaced as a result of the closure.”
Ojo said the union was always in touch with workers of the closed textile factories with a view to finding solutions to their plight.
“The union has been doing a lot in terms of advocacy to draw government’s attention to the plight of the industry and our campaign has made it possible for UNTPL to be reopened because of the provisions of the Bank of Industry (BoI) with a current work force of about 1,500,” he said.
On Kaduna Textiles Limited (KTL), he said: “We were told recently that the management has been able to woo some investors from Turkey, who were interested in making military uniforms. We were told that they have gotten to the stage where investors have shown interest and that they only needed the cooperation of the Ministries of Defence and Interior to give them the go ahead so that they can float a garment factory there.”
Ojo noted that these were reassuring information, which the union believed would help it get those factories to reopen. He said if this happened, some of the workers would be re-engaged and the issue of payment of their entitlement may also come to bear.
On FINETEX and NOTEX, Ojo said there was an erroneous belief that their gratuity had not been paid, but because of all the union’s efforts, it was able to convince the chairman of the company, Alhaji Dantata, who made available about N250million for the workers’ gratuity.
He said this has been paid to the workers. “It is not fair for anyone to claim that NOTEX and FINETEX gratuity had not been paid because it has been addressed,” Ojo clarified.
On Arewa Textile, he said, “The major problem they have was with Union Bank. We were told that the bank has recovered so much from Arewa Textiles in terms of the debt owed them and we were thinking that the bank would be sympathetic to the workers in carrying out the burden of gratuity for the workers.”