By Emmanuel Elebeke
The staff of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC have embarked on strike action over COVID-19 scare and poor working condition.
The strike action led to locking thousands of applicants outside the various enrolment centres.
A strike notice signed by the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael, and the Secretary, Odia Victor, said the action was consequent upon the just concluded congress of the above-mentioned association that took place on January 6, 2020, in which the unit executive directed 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.
The notice also directed all members at the local government offices and speciality centres to stay away from their various centres as a task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance with the directive.
Recall that the Federal government through the Nigerian Communications Commission had last month asked all telecoms firms to disconnect the SIM cards of all persons who have not integrated their National Identity Numbers with their phone lines by the end of January.
According to NIMC, only 43 million Nigerians had so far enrolled in the exercise, leading to huge crowds to gather at the various offices of NIMC in breach of the COVID-19.
The ACCSN at the Congress insisted that the strike become imperative due to the exposure of staff to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in the promotion and poor funding.
The striking strike also demanded payment of overtime and that they should be given enough tools to work with.
The statement reads: “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.”
All efforts by Vanguard to reach the NIMC management failed as at the time of filing this report.