NEMA workers embark on nationwide strike
October 19, 2017
The Association of Senior Civil Servant of Nigeria (ASCSN) and Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Unit, on Thursday embarked on a nationwide three-day warning strike.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that staff of the agency in Abuja, Minna, Lagos among others were seen with placard with inscription such as “Mustapha Maihaja must go”, “Mustapha we are tired of aluta, pay our claims or resign, enough is enough.”
Other read: “No hazard allowance, no life assurance cover”, “Who will die next”, “No promotion exercise”, “Give us training it is statutory”, “Maihaja is an electrician, we are humanitarian”.
Mr Saad Bello Chairman, Association of Senior Civil Servants, NEMA branch told NAN in Abuja that the staff members are embarking on a peaceful protest nationwide.
He told NAN that the union embarked on the warning strike over failure of the management to adhere to public service rules.
He said the union was also agitating for better welfare and the resignation of its Director-General, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja.
According to him, Maihaja has failed to live to expectations and had failed to implement the recently signed agreement with the union, which was chaired by Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.
He said that the three-day nationwide warning strike commenced from Thursday will end on Monday, adding that if the management fails to meet their demands, indefinite industrial action would be declared.
He listed the staff demands to include unpaid allowances, failure to renewed life assurance policy, lack of capacity building for staff amongst others.
Bello said that the members of staff have also called for resignation of Maihaja as he has shown that he does not have adequate capacity and knowledge on how to run a humanitarian agency.
“We are here to fight for our rights and implementation of the agreement reached between NEMA management and the Association of Senior Civil Servants in Nigeria, with the Ministry of Labour and Employment as witness.
“We have a lot of issues that are bothering the minds of the workers of this agency and we have tried to approach the management but they became adamant.
“We gave them the first twenty one days notice to no avail, fourteen days notice to no avail, seven days warning to no avail until the Minister called us to a roundtable to discuss the issues that were raised.
“Agreements were reached, with the management of NEMA and the Ministry of Labour and Employment signed, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria and the NEMA unit of the Association equally signed the agreement.
“This agreement bothers on the lots of liabilities of staff welfare, DTA, overtime, transfer allowances that had not been implemented and the agreement specified that it should be concluded within three weeks.
“Three weeks had elapsed, nothing has been done about it and we cannot have a vibrant agency without capacity building”, Bello said.
The Union Leader said that the entitlements of members of staff, who died from 2016 till date, have also not been paid for lack of life insurance policy.
Bello said that another issue brought for discussion was the posting of some staff posted out of the headquarters because they clamoured for justice from management, and the Ministry agreed that they should be returned but nothing had been done.
He said that if Maihaja feels he cannot implement the agreement, he should step aside for a new and capable person to take over the helm of affairs of the agency.
He said that the Federal Government has been very supportive as the Minister of Labour championed the reconciliation meeting.
He called for further intervention from the Federal government on the activities of the agency as a key humanitarian agency.
Other members of the Union said that they were no longer opened for dialogue but calling for the implementation of the signed agreement and demands.
All efforts to reach Maihaja at the time of the report were not successful as he sent a text that he was attending a National Council Meeting.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maihaja resumed duty as NEMA DG on April 21.