From Fred Itua, Abuja
Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) workers in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) have concluded arrangements for an industrial action over the non-implementation of the FCT Civil Service Commission Act.
The workers said the grandstanding of FCT Minister Muhammad Bello over the Act signed three years ago by President Muhammadu Buhari has put their fate hanging in the air for too long.
JUAC Chairman Matilukoro Korede said the FCT Civil Service Commission Act cannot remain on the shelf while the administration continues to deny workers the benefits accruing from it.
Korede noted that the just concluded three-day warning strike last week by the workers was a sign that issues that affect their welfare will not be further subjected to political bottlenecks.
He said that all the joint unions in FCTA and FCDA are prepared for an indefinite strike that will cripple all government activities.
He explained that workers’ patience have been exhausted, accusing the administration of refusing to do the needful after several meetings with labour leaders.
According to him, workers have been resillient in demanding for the implementation of Executive Order 1 of 2004, which abolished the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory, long before the signing of the Act which has given FCT workers an opportunity to advance in the Service like their counterparts in the states.
It was learnt that the holistic implementation of the Executive Order 1 of 2004 and the FCT Civil Service Commission would ensure the removal of the Permanent Secretary, who was posted from the Office of the Civil Service of the Federation.
It will also give opportunity to FCT workers to advance more in the administrative cadre, while a qualified worker from the system can be appointed FCT Head of Service as obtains in the states.
The JUAC chairman stressed that without the implementation of the Act, FCT workers will continually remain under administrative limitations that would not allow them to grow at par with workers at the states.
‘It was a huge relief when the National Assembly harkened to the voice of the staff of the FCT Administration, by enacting, passed into law and Gazetted (with the consent of the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria) the FCT-Civil Service Commission in 2018,’ he said.
‘This is three years down the line, the big question is why has it been difficult to implement it till date? The FCT-Civil Service Commission was created by an Act of parliament, just like the Federal Civil Service Commission and those of the States Civil Service Commission, with primary responsibility of appointment.’
Among the demands of the workers are ‘the removal of all FCTA staff from the Accountant General of the Federation’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System ( IPPIS).’