AFBTE decries NLRC action on company closures

The Association of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE), an umbrella union of employers in the food, beverage and tobacco sector, said it was saddened by the closure of some companies by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).

In a statement, the group lamented the actions of the NLRC in its industrial sector in an attempt to force them to make payments that have over time been contested and are currently in litigation in the courts.

The group expressed its dissatisfaction with the Commission in what it termed unacceptable act, especially in a democratic setting where the actions of all and sundry and especially those of government and its agencies should be guided by the rule of law and respect for the country’s judicial institutions and process.

“We are more worried that this is happening at a time when all hands should be on deck to increase the productive base of the Nigerian economy, promote commerce and step up development efforts,” the statement said.

The Association however, implored the Federal Government, through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who oversees the Commission, as well as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment to “help us in reminding the management of the NLRC that the law setting it up, that is the National Lottery Act, 2005 does not empower it to act in the manner it has resorted to of late.”

“Secondly, the Commission also needs to be reminded that the matter is before the Court and as such none of the parties should take any precipitate action that will present the court with a fait accompli.

“Finally, we appeal to the Commission to follow the law in all its actions and in this particular matter, allow the Court to rule on it,” it added.

NLRC, a week ago, initiated a temporary shutdown of the offices of Nigerian Breweries Plc in Lagos and Abuja for what the commission said was the brewing company’s unwillingness to settle an outstanding tax bill of N326 million owed to it from promotional lotteries carried out by the company.

Updated: 22 Nov 2018 4:57 PM

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