…Staff demand DG’s removal
Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Fresh crisis seems to be brewing at the National Population Commission (NPC) as the staff are insisting on the sack of the Commission’s Director General (DG), Dr. Ghaji Bello, over alleged incompetence.
In a petition sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, the staff union accused the DG of violating all civil service rules in the commission and, therefor, demanded his immediate sack.
The staff also alleged that the DG has reneged on the agreement reached with the union in January, at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) before other stakeholders.
They claimed that part of the agreement included: “With the paucity of funds in the commission, due to the prevalent economic situation, the commission will commence the process of clearing the backlog of outstanding staff allowance within the realms of the overhead in the first quarter.
“That the commission will look for programmes in the capital vote of NPC, to collectively address the issue of staff training, as part of capacity building within the first quarter of this year; that only approved allowances specified in the Public Service Rules (PSR) would be paid to board members and staff of the NPC.
“That all critical issues to financial misappropriation will be investigated by appropriate government agencies; and that a time frame of 60 days given to both parties to monitor the implementation of the agreement, after which the meeting will reconvene to report progress and many other agreements.”
The union further alleged in the petition to the president that the funds released to the commission to carry out enumeration activities for the proposed 2018 national census was diverted to the award of contract for renovation of seven Data Processing Centres (DPCs), just as they alleged Bello is the most incompetent DG the commission ever had since inception.
The President of the Workers’ Union, Mrs. Rita Agada who claimed that he has reneged on the agreement explained that the strike was put on hold since January following the intervention of the national Presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress.
However, all attempts made to have the reactions of the Director General of NPC on the allegations made against by the Union proved abortive as the DG refused to pick his calls or responded to the text message sent to him.