Friday, 7 December 2012

Federal workers threaten strike over allowance

ABUJA-FEDERAL workers, yesterday, called on ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, to ensure prompt payment of outstanding allowances of staff in line with the circular issued by the Minister of Finance on July 27.

Chairman of Nigeria Civil Service Union, Federal Council, Abuja, Mr. Lawrence Amaechi, who made the call at the 10th Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference in Abuja, threatened that the union will not hesitate to embark on industrial action if the MDAs refused to heed the workers’ call.

He said: “I want to call on the management of all MDAs to settle their outstanding 28 days allowance to the affected staff in line with the Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy/Minister of Finance’s circular No. ED/CEH.246/TV/1/203 dated July 27, 2012.

“We shall not hesitate to use our last weapon to fight for this allowance, if MDAs fail to pay to deserving staff.

“There had been a problem when our people are posted to MDAs. Over N500 million is hanging. We have an understanding with the Director of Budget and they said ministries can gradually upset it.

“That is why they issued a circular to all MDAs to help us clear these arrears because there will be no other money for it.

“We are using this opportunity to tell all permanent secretaries to help us and immediately begin to pay these allowances.”

Amaechi appealed to the Minister of Federal Capital Territory to assist the union in the area of accommodation.

He said: “We want housing estate that a low income earner can afford. Most of our members are living in the satellite towns.”

On Sanusi’s call for sack
In his address, the National President of the Union, Mr. Kiri Shuaibu, urged the Federal Government to completely ignore recent calls by the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to trim down its workforce.
He said government should rather see to the welfare of its workers and devote its strength against corruption.

He said there was foot-dragging on reports that exposed corruption, ranging from subsidy to pension, in an attempt to let them end up in the dustbin.

Shuaibu said: “It is not good to look at the civil servants as liability, while a governor will be having 500 advisers. We are an asset.

“The call is a misplaced priority. If they want to reduce workforce, we told them to deal with the issue of corruption first.

“There are two reports now on corruption: Farouk Lawan and pension. They want to put those reports in the dustbin.

“You want to drop somebody who is working in other to favour somebody who is stealing. We are going to go against government on that issue.”

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