From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
Staff of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) have announced that they are embarking on a strike over complaints of funding as well as exposure to COVID-19.
Consequently, thousands of Nigerians applying for their National Identification Number (NIN) have been locked outside of NIMC offices. The notice of strike was signed by the President and Secretary of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), NIMC branch, Mr Lucky Michael, and Mr Odia Victor.
The statement read: “Consequent upon the just concluded congress of the above mentioned association that took place on January 6, 2020, the unit executive directs all members of grade level 12 and below in the head office and state offices to report to their respective duty posts tomorrow January 7, 2020 and do nothing.
“All members at the local government offices and special centres are advised to stay away from their various centres as task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance to the directive.”
This Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, had last month ordered all telecoms firms to disconnect SIM cards which were not linked with NIN. Currently, over 100 million Nigerians have yet to do so, causing huge crowds to gather at the various offices of NIMC in breach of the COVID-19 protocol.
According to the ASCSN, NIMC branch, the strike had become necessary due to the exposure of staff to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in promotion and poor funding. They also complained of not being paid for working overtime nor given enough tools to work with.
“Staff members were infected with COVID-19 and adequate measures have not been taken to curtail the spread. The meeting resolved that safety of staff should be prioritised. Furthermore the office environment should be fumigated immediately.
“The congress agreed that the NIMC staff salary structure approved by the Federal Government vide Presidential assent be implemented in the personnel appropriation of the 2021 annual budget effective January 2021.
“That the lopsided and irregular promotion done in 2017 and 2020 be reviewed, regularised and gazetted in accordance with public service rules,” they said.