Mum still remains the position of the Kaduna state government 24 hours after the Nigeria Labour Congress protested the alleged sack of “thousands of local government staff”, warning such action by the state government is bound to worsen the security situation in the state.
Speculations on social media have said those sacked are up to 4,500, but the state government has neither confirmed nor denied the sack.
Curiously, the NLC State Chairman, Mr. Ayuba Magaji Suleiman; and Secretary, Christiana John Bawa confirmed a memo dated more than two years ago where the state government allegedly disclosed its plans to compulsory retire its staff above 50 years of age, those of Grade Level 14 and above, as well as casualties those on Grade Levels 01 to 06.
He noted that the state government had not paid the entitlements of workers it sacked since 2016, and wondered how the government would pay the terminal benefits of those being sacked now.
“Kaduna state is already faced with issues of insecurity, unemployment, poverty, the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic and dwindling business prospects, therefore, any additional pain on citizens will reasonably be repulsive to conscience,” he added.
A reaction to the comments and plans of the organised labour was being expected from spokesman to the governor, Nasir el Rufai and government.
Said the NLC officials: “Again, it is worrisome that the current State Leadership sees development squarely from the capitalist point against such crucial indices such as human capital development, human right and the rule of law. For development to be meaningful it must be balanced and wholesome, in both human capital development and infrastructures growth must deliberately and as of necessity occupy a pride of place.
“In a dramatic twist of events, the Kaduna state government, recently in a manner defying of all rationality and logic especially in the face excruciating economic reality, issued a letter which was signed by the Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to the Governor and sent to the
Head of Service of Kaduna State, apparently preparatory to another round of mass sack in the public service of Kaduna state.
“In the letter, the PPS requested for the comprehensive list of staff from all the MDAS as categorized below:
1. Officers that are 50 years and above – Compulsory retirement
2. Officers on GL/14 and above, even if they are less than 50 years – Compulsory Retirement
3. All categories of officers on GL 01 -06 – Conversion to casual
4. And that no Local Government should have more than 50 staff strength.
“In the view of the foregoing and as the vanguard of the workers in Kaduna State, the NLC Kaduna State Council after extensive deliberations at its emergency meeting wishes to state as follows:
1. . The NLC Kaduna State Council kicked against the mass sack of workers in the public service and any sack of workers whose appointments are statutorily protected must be based on strict compliance with the disciplinary procedure as provided in the public service rules.
2. The Government of Kaduna State must take into effect the cost implication of the mass sack on the society and the implication it will be bear on families and already compromised security situation in our beloved state.
if the workers that were sacked in 2016 are yet to be paid their entitlements, how can
the KDSG guarantee the payment of terminal benefits of those being sacked now?
4. Kaduna State is already faced with issues of insecurity, unemployment, poverty, the devastating effect of Covid-19 pandemic and dwindling business prospects, therefore any additional pain on
citizens will reasonably be repulsive to conscience.
5. Accordingly, we call on the State Government to reverse this unpopular decision on the mass sack of workers, and seek alternative means of running government without inflicting additional pains on the public.
6. While we pledge to remain organised, peaceful and rational in engaging the government and other stakeholders towards ensuring amicable resolution of this and other issues, it is our prayers that prominent citizens and other people of goodwill (such as senior citizens, the political class, the clergy, traditional rulers, etc) would partner with organised Ilabour with a view to save the state from needless skirmishes.
“This is necessary in order to prevent the labour movement from being compelled to take some drastic measures.”