By Stanley Onyekwere
Government activities at the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) were yesterday grounded by angry workers, who complied with a 3- day warning strike against deployment of Permanent Secretary from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
Our correspondent reports that the FCTA staff chose the first day of resumption of work after the 2021 Easter holidays, to obey the no- work directive by leadership of Joint Unions Action Committee ( JUAC ) in FCTA and FCDA, which was initiated to press home their demands.
Checks revealed that customers and visitors were left stranded at some of the strategic FCTA agencies, like Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB ) Department of Development Control, Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS ). And it was also learnt that school teachers and health workers would join the ongoing strike.
Recall that the workers had accused the administration of double-standards, saying that government that claim to be transparent cannot continue to retain a Permanent Secretary deployed from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, against the spirit and intent of FCT Civil Service Commission Act, already signed by the President three years ago.
They alleged that the serving Permanent Secretary who was deployed from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is occupying an illegal position, because the Act provides for an FCT Head of Service instead.
According to the JUAC’s Chairman, Matilukoro Korede, the administration had ignored the workers agitation for the implementation of the Act and other issues that border on workers welfare for too long.
Korede noted that the strike actions is likely going to be indefinite, until the administration heeds the call to implement the Act.
Insisting that JUAC had severally called the attention of government and other stakeholders to the existence of Executive Order 1 of 2004, even before the passage of the FCT Civil Service Commission Bill by National Assembly and it’s subsequent signing into law, the union leader said refusal to implement the law, has a very adverse effects on workers.
“This is three years down the line, the big question is why has it been difficult to implement it till date? “, he added.
However, it was gathered that the angry workers’ outrage over non-implementation of the FCT Civil Service Commission Act, is becoming louder now because the Permanent Secretary who is perceived to be occupying an illegal position is also stifling administrative procedures.
It was equally revealed that the current Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola has adopted several beaurecratic bottlenecks, as well as procedural obstacles which the workers are not very comfortable with.