Kaduna State workers under the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are heading for a showdown with Governor Nasir el-Rufai over the planned sale of government houses in the state.
The state chapters of the NLC and the TUC made this known on Tuesday.
However, the state government said on its website that the proposed sale of about 1,990 non-residential quarters was to cut the costs expended on maintaining them.
A check on the state’s website indicated that the houses are to be sold by means of a public auction based on their market values.
According to the website, the decision to sell the houses was endorsed by the State Executive Council.
In the approved guidelines, only persons and corporate bodies resident in Kaduna State were eligible to submit bids for the properties and each property would be sold at the highest price offered.
The guidelines also stipulated that no property would be sold for less than its price and that every bidder was restricted to only one property.
The guidelines also indicated that the public servants currently occupying the quarters had the first right of refusal to match the winning bid.
The sale excludes all government quarters in schools, hospitals and public institutions.
But the two organised labour bodies kicked against the proposed sale especially to political office holders.
A statement by the state Chairman of the NLC, Adamu Ango, and his TUC counterpart, Shehu Mohammed, described as unfortunate the proposed exercise which they claimed excluded inputs from major stakeholders such as the workers in the state.
According to the unions, the entire civil servants in the state were taken aback when they got know of the plan through advertorials in national dailies.
They noted that the workers were more concern over the stringent conditions attached to the sale of those quarters, noting that even the civil servants in the state had no hope of purchasing any of the houses.
They urged the state government to follow the example of the Federal Government which, in its monetisation programme, gave workers who were the legal occupants of government houses unconditional rights of first refusal.
The statement said, “The decision of the Kaduna State Executive Council was without recourse to all relevant stakeholders in the state, especially the workers of Kaduna State, who are the creators of wealth and the legal occupants of these properties?