Workers of the National Identity Management Commission have threatened to shut down the outfit if the management failed to address poor working conditions they were contending with.
The workers are also asking for the payment of outstanding arrears and implementation of the Para-military Salary structure after the National Salaries and Wages Commission classified NIMC under that group of workers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workers, under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, had written to the Federal Government on November 8, and given a 21-day deadline to address the lingering issues.
The letter, which was signed by the Secretary-General of ASCSN, Mr Isaac Ojemhenke, was copied to the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Minister of Labour and Employment.
In the letter, the NIMC workers alleged that the state of enrolment centres across the country was worrisome and needed “urgent attention”.
Chairman, NIMC branch of ASCSN, Mr Lucky Asekokhai, who spoke with NAN on the workers’ demands, regretted that NIMC management had yet to respond to the demands “in spite of the expiration of the ultimatum”.
He said, “The workers are not happy. A decision will be taken by the union soon. Workers will not accept to continue working under deplorable conditions of service.
“We have been on this issue for a long time, but management has not been sincere with us. We issued an ultimatum that has elapsed. There is no reason for people that work in a critical agency that keeps data of the identities of Nigerians to work in a deplorable condition.
“We heard of a new salary structure and the management confirmed working on it, but we are yet to see the salary.
“Again, the 28-day relocation allowance given to people on transfer, or those that are newly employed, has yet to be paid since 2013.
“After the ultimatum, we were invited by the National Assembly, the SGF, Police, and Head of the Trade Dispute Department at the Ministry of Labour and Employment. We were told to give the government some time. We expected date but they did not give us.
“We have decided to give the government till December 31, 2019, for further discussion, but if nothing positive comes up, nobody should blame us for any action taken. We will not give any further notice before we shut down the commission.”
Mr Abdulhamid Umar, NIMC’s General Manager, Operations, while reacting to the threat said that all issues raised by workers were addressed before the ultimatum elapsed.
“There are issues raised, but 99 per cent of them were outside the purview of the commission’s management because they were directed at the government.
“But, because we were delegated by the government to manage the commission for the public, we cannot run away from the impact of the issues raised. They were germane and still germane, but no longer on the front burner.
“On the allowances, the government has directed us to collate them. If you go to the Accountant General’s Office, you will see our requisition there. Discussions took place at the highest level. Those matters have been tabled before government,” he said.(NAN)