By Ahmed Rahma
Due to poor welfare package and exposure to COVID-19, the employees of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) have embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike.
The strike notice signed by the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Mr Lucky Michael, and its Secretary, Odia Victor, stated that, “Consequent upon the just-concluded congress of the above mentioned association that took place on January 6, 2021, 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, 2021, 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.”
Workers of NIMC became very busy recently after the federal government directed GSM network providers to disconnect any mobile number not linked with the National Identification Number (NIN).
This made many telecommunications subscribers throng the offices of the agency to obtain their NINs for linking with their SIM cards.
It is believed that over 100 million Nigerians are yet to update their SIM card records with their operators. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had earlier fixed December 30, 2020, as the deadline for the exercise but it extended it to January 19, 2021, after several calls from Nigerians and the parliament.
The huge number of people at the offices of NIMC across the country seeking to obtain their NINs has raised questions about the sensitivity of the federal government, especially when it is advising citizens to avoid large gatherings because of increasing rates of COVID-19.
In the press statement issued by the aggrieved workers of NIMC, it was stressed that the strike had become necessary due to the exposure of staff to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in the promotion and poor funding.
They also asked to be paid overtime and given enough tools to work with.
The congress noted that “staff members were infected with COVID-19 and adequate measures have not been taken to curtail the spread.
“The meeting resolved that the 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.”
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