Nasarawa State Govt/Organized Labour strike And Matters Arising

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Rabiu Omaku

I sympathized with the civil servants in Nasarawa state under the auspices of the Organized Labour, the crack which led to the two faction of the Union is a sign of a divided house, this would translate to nothing in the ongoing struggle between the state government and the Organized Labour.

The Union now has two chairmen, Comrade Bala Umar faction with the support of majority of the workers while Comrade Abdullahi Adeka’s faction garner support of civil servants from the third tier of government mostly NUT, MHWUN and NULGE.

The passage of “Vote of no confidence on the embattled chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress which comprises of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) ,The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee will not augur well for the quest to ensure that welfare of civil servants in the state is given ardent attention.

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The revelation made by Adeka that the Head of Service gave the Organized Labour N4m for May Day is a revelation that may ignites another round of rift, again the letter signed by Comrade Muhammed Umar Doma,the Scribe of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) was a total disconnection between the leaders and the subordinates, in the letter of TUC dated 13th/05/2017 while the same Union including others passed a vote of no confidence on the estranged chairman.

Who is fooling who?

Solutions To Organized Labour/Nasarawa State Government Impasses

Since the inception of this current administration issues of promotion, increments, pension and gratuity remains the basis of industrial action embarked by workers in the state, is on record that promotion is the right of civil servants not a privileged accorded to them

Since the advent of Umaru Tanko Al-Makura’s regime there was no effort to review the pension of retires upward which was done after every five years.

The state government embarked on series of data capture and screening exercise all in a bid to ameliorate the inconsequential spending by government but to no avail, since 2011 the salaries of local government staff remain N2.2bn even with high number of people retiring on monthly bases. The worst of all was nobody from the ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has the authentic number of Local Government staff, neither the commissioner nor his permanent Secretary can provide such number before the current House of Assembly.

In the last Joint Account Committee (JAC) the Auditor General revealed that 143 Local Government staff retired from service, the nagging question was what was the staff strength and monthly wage bill current?

Also on the first screening exercise chunk amount of money was recover under the Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board while over 7000 local government staff employed under the PDP Youth Protection Scheme of the first governor, Abdullahi Adamu were displaced and no new employment were given.

Your Excellency in the last four years you have written your names in gold and in the sands of Nasarawa state in times of physical projects within and outside the state capital, you have elevated the status of Lafia, the state capital from the status of a glorified local government to a mega city with the provision of traffic light, this single approach has help in reducing the high rate of accident in the state.

Also the relocation and reconstruction of Lafia neighborhood market along Doma road has given the state capital a facelift, other projects exhibited also include the construction of massive road projects in the state capital extended to the thirteen local governments.

New schools were established barely six years in office, Thank you sir, for the interest of the suffering masses sir, don’t start what you cannot finish before 29 May, 2017, to be specific airport project is not our priority for now, utmost attention should be focused on workers welfare which is their sole right, workers are stagnant for six years, the 18,000 minimum wage is no longer feasible, retirees are paid on percentage after putting their best for 35 years in active service.

The government of the day should seek for means to resolved the lingering crisis over the demands of workers been the engine room of government businesses, I disagreed with the government saying civil servants constitute just 1percent of the population if going by the official figure of 2006 population census of 1.8m people in Nasarawa state, if workers constitute 1 percent of the population what about the figure of dependent on the workers as the state remain the only industry and company that employ able working class.

On the side of our civil servants especially the third tier of government where ineptitude was the order of the day as Local Government remain as Sodom  as only teachers and workers under the department of health are those working. This was as the result of bastardization of the entire Local Government system by people.

Rabiu Omaku Writes from Doma

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