10 April 2014, Lagos – Disengaged workers and pensioners of defunct Nigerian Coal Corporation (NCC) have sued the Bureau of Public Enterprise(BPE), Vice Chairman of National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the NCC itself before an Industrial Court in Enugu for breach of the 2003 Monetisation Policy agreement of the Federal Government.
The retirees in a complaint suit No: NICN/EN/07/2014 filed through their counsel, Sir O.A.U. Onyema, argued that it was wrong for the BPE to sell their residential quarters against the Federal Government’s policy on sales of government quarters, which stipulates that genuine workers/occupiers should have first choice of refusal.
They noted that the non-offer of the third defendant’s houses to the disengaged workers and retirees of the third defendant (NCC) at monetised prices, since monetisation policy of 2003, up till this moment; and as earlier directed by the defendants in 2007 and subsequently 2009, is a perversion of justice.
The retirees are, therefore, asking the court for : “a declaration that the claimants are entitled to the conveyance of title ownership of residential quarters which they legitimately occupy in accordance with the monetisation policy and privatisation labour policy with regards to disposal of government residential quarters”.
“A declaration that continuous carving-out and delineating of some portions of the NCC properties and disposing same to the public, without concurrently allocating the residential quarters to the claimants (disengaged staffs and retirees) who occupy them for them to pay and own in line with monetisation, commercialisation and privatisation policy, amounts to double standard and portends an action in bad faith.”
They also prayed the court to declare that any direct or indirect action, occasioned to encourage displacement of any of the claimants from his or her residential quarters, and renting or allocating same to the public, as to occasion denying him or her the benefit of the monetisation policy is illegal and of no effect.
Other prayers include: “An order of the court directing the defendants to restore the accommodation of any claimant ejected forcefully, while he/she was awaiting severance benefit, gratuity etc; and monetise same to him/her.
“An order of the court directing the defendant to forthwith, delineate the residential quarters as they are, Survey, allocate to the claimants and perfect their title documents in line with monetization policy at government rate, as earlier formulated by the defendants.
– The Nation