Barring the intervention of the Federal Government and stakeholders, workers at the National Identity Management Commission are headed for a collision course with the management of the commission over unhealthy labour practices and poor staff welfare.
This is also as the workers, under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, which is an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the commission for the commencement of an indefinite industrial action.
These were contained in a letter signed by the Secretary-General of the union, Isaac Ojemhenke and forwarded to the Senate President; Speaker, House of Representatives; Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Head of Service; Minister for Labour; Minister for Finance; relevant security agencies and chairman of the NIMC board.
The letter, obtained by newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital, noted that Nigerians should be concerned that at a time when the NIMC should be living up to its billing, given the identification crisis currently fueling the spate of insecurity in the country, the management of the Commission seems to be groping in the dark on how to effectively manage the commission.
While stating that the workforce has been groaning under management’s neglect, the letter decried the deplorable state of the welfare and workplace of staff of the NIMC.
It noted that the enrolment centres across the country are terribly dilapidated and degenerating to death traps with leaking roofs, popped ceilings, run-down furniture, poor toilet facilities and in some cases, no toilet at all.
“As a result, most of the centres have become home to dangerous reptiles and insects.”
The letter also listed the slash in staff salaries, non-payment of 28 days allowance to new employees and those transferred from one post to another as part of the complaints of the workers.
He noted that while workers contend with the lack of staff training and re-training of staff over the years, they are also faced with a lack of requisite work materials like diesel, petrol, toners, printers, internet facilities and others thereby complicating the already bad work conditions at the NIMC enrolment centres.
The union regrets that all efforts made to amicably resolve the lingering labour issues with the management were largely rebuffed by the management.
“At the meeting of 5th November 2019, the management provoked the union to do its worse when the union expressed its displeasure over the management’s inaction,” the union said.
The 21 days ultimatum started counting from the 8th of November, 2019.