Contractors handling the Zungeru Hydroelectric project, CNEEC/SINOHYDRO, have denied the reported violation of Nigeria labour laws levelled against them by some of the site workers.
The contractors in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said they have been law-abiding and that they have since the commencement of the hydroelectric project in 2013, followed due process in dealing with their workers, and in accordance with the extant labour laws in Nigeria.
According to the statement, the companies have over 2000 Nigerians on their payroll, and that in order to execute the project as scheduled; they engaged the services of many subcontractors and suppliers, stressing that in this case, a worker engaged by a subcontractor should not be confused with those directly employed by CNEEC/SINOHYDRO which are the main contractors for the project.
“The companies are also guided by the national minimum wage approved by the federal government, as a matter of fact, the companies pay above the national minimum wage.
“We have a robust staff welfare programme. Any staff involved in an accident in our project site is promptly taken care of fully by the Consortium. In case of permanent disability we have special packages spelt out in the employment manual.
“Currently there is an injured staff member and the companies have spent over N2 million on his treatment. For those who died in line of duty, the company handled part of the burial expenses in line with the requirement of the labour law while arrangements are being made for whatever benefits accrued to them including NSITF”, the consortium explained in the statement.
Some persons, who said they are employees of the companies had gone to a radio station in Abuja where they accused the contractors of violating labour laws by denying them some of their employment rights, a development the companies questioned that if the allegations were true, why did the said staff members waited for over seven years, working on a project that is at 95 percent completion stage before raising alarm.