With the nation presently undergoing severe economic and potentially dangerous sociological turns, the governing and/or administration blocks of the federal republic of Nigeria appear lost in the age-old practice of extortion in the manner executed during the dictatorial period in Nigeria. Information available to 247ureports.com obtained through sources employed at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Productivity indicates the Federal Minister in charge of the Ministry, Chief Emeka Wogu may have been engaged in financial crimes and other corrupt practices – over the years of his service to the Ministry as Minister – to the tone that amounts to over N3billion. One source states the Minister has amassed enough wealth – to bolster his decision to vie for the office of governor in Abia State come 2015.
Speaking to our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, the highly placed source within the Labor Ministry pointed to the proposed 2013 Budget for the Ministry of Labor and Productivity – as a document laced with legalized financial crimes. The source explained that the Minister and some of his closed associates have perfected the act of embezzling Ministry funds through the special crafting of the Ministry’s budget to be submitted to the Presidency. The explains that it is for this criminal reasons that the proposed budget of N10.04billion [N10,042,103,205] contained 81.45% [N8,179,103.203] recurrent expenditure and 18.55% [1,863,000, 000] capital expenditure. Typically, budgets are expected to have higher percentage of capital expenditure over recurrent.
Cursory examination of the proposed 2013 Budget for the Federal Ministry of Labor and Productivity shows that drafters of the proposed budget may have had financial mischief as objective.
The mischief points directly to the appropriation of monies within the proposed budget. Particularly, N393.1million was earmarked for transportation for the fiscal year 2013 – representing 3.9% of the entire Ministry’s budget. The Ministry of Labor and Productivity is made of four divisions, namely – Minister’s main office – the Ministry’s headquarters, National Directorate of Employment, Michael Imodu Institute of Labor Studies, for National Productivity Center, and Industrial Arbitration Panel
Out of the N393.1million, N199million is reversed for transport services for the Minister’s main office – the Ministry’s headquarters. Another N77.68million reserved for transport services for the National Directorate of Employment, N49.23million for Michael Imodu Institute of Labor Studies, N32.72million for National Productivity Center – and N31.39million for Industrial Arbitration Panel.
Click here 23. Summary_Labour for the proposed budget.
It is uncertain the reception the National Assembly [NASS] will give proposed budget but it will remain the hope of many within the Ministry of Labor and Productivity for the members of NASS to inspect the proposed budget thoroughly as to close the looting avenues laced in the proposed budget.
During the minimum wage brouhaha that swept across the nation via indefinite strikes by civil servant, it is recalled the role played by the Ministry and the Minister. The call by the Presidency to increase the minimum wage to N18,000 per month, saw the various State governments thumb their noses to the call to peg the minimum wages at the aforementioned amount. As a result, worker’s strike began and quickly spread across the country – while threatening to fracture the already delicate peace. The Minister, Emeka Wogu, instead of acting to ensure the enforcement of the minimum wage directives – stayed docile. To date, only a few of the State governments have complied fully with the minimum wage directive. Our source indicates that Emeka Wogu reached an understanding with the respective State governors.
Emeka Wogu is currently in preps to contest for the 2015 gubernatorial elections in Abia State under the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP].