Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
The authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) have expressed worry over the inability of its staff to indict those involved in the circumstances surrounding the collapse of FCTA Staff cooperative.
In particular, the Administration lamented the conspiracy of silence over the misfortunes of the staff cooperative society, which became riddled with lack of accountability.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello made this point when he received the newly elected executives of the FCT Administration Joint Union Action Committee (JUAC), when they paid him a working visit.
Bello revealed that he had called on the leaders to sanitize the Cooperative as he had hoped to extend some grant to it so as to strengthen it as a channel for staff welfare.
He expressed concern about officers retiring from service without any indication that their various departments celebrated them.
He reiterated the commitment of the Administration to the welfare and development of workers as long as there are extant circular and budgetary provisions to cover such packages.
According to him, the Administration will not oppose any welfare package for workers as long it was well articulated at the various departmental levels and budgetary provisions made by the relevant authorities to accommodate such schemes.
On the issue of training for workers, the Minister said it remains mandatory that training must be carried out for all workers under the FCT Administration between the 1st and 31st of January of every year.
He regretted however that the representatives of workers do not effectively monitor the processes to ensure fairness and justice on the selection period, nor to make appropriate arrangements and provisions until it is too late in the year to address the issue.
“All these are supposed to be monitored by the union as you are the vanguards of the workers, you have to open your eyes to see if they are doing it or not.
“If we are going to follow correct civil service procedure, from first January to the end of January, there must be a training programme. It has to be done at the various departments. If there is a problem, confront the heads of the SDAs directly,” he said.
Earlier in his remark, JUAC Chairman Comrade Matilukoro Korede conveyed their appreciation to the Minister and the Permanent Secretary for their commitments towards the resolution of knotty issues affecting workers under the FCTA.
He said the union has trust that the leadership will also do justice to other contending issues, as “by the time we see you again, we believe we will be telling you to help us thank the Permanent Secretary because he has done justice to these issues.”
Korede called on the Minister to look into the areas where there seems to be a lacuna in the FCT status in terms of policy documents and the constitution of Nigeria which is preventing FCTA workers from enjoying the same opportunities for contesting for the position of Permanent Secretary in the Federal Service.
He assured that FCTA has staff that can deliver on target and on time as have been exemplified by the achievements recorded by the present FCT Administration and should be allowed to do this at the federal level.