Identity commission to sack 4,000 staff for not returning to school

 

Four thousand workers are to be sacked by the National Identity Management Commission for being ‘redundant.’

Ini Ekott with Agency report

The National Identity Management Commission says it will disengage more than 4,000 members of its staff, claiming the workers are “redundant,” in what ranks as one of the largest downsizings by a government agency.

The commission said the affected workers had failed to upgrade their qualifications over years, and had become irrelevant to its needs. Sacked workers will not receive pension, the commission said; although they are likely to be paid off with N900 million included in the commission’s 2012 budget for “disengagement cost.”

The move has sparked protest from the aggrieved staff who shut down the commission’s premises for the most part of Wednesday, the News Agency of Nigeria reported, rejecting the planned lay off. The workers also claimed that they will not be paid pension if they leave.

The commission defended the decision saying it was to curtail “redundancy,” while claiming that pension had been discontinued by the federal government.

Last year, the commission said it had discovered 4,000 “ghost workers” in its fold and was planning to reduce its personnel cost.

Its personnel cost rose from N3.3 billion in 2011 to N4.2billion in 2012.

The Labour Adviser to the Director General of the commission, Ayo Olorunfemi, said the organization was one of the few offices in the country with majority of its workforce in the junior cadre.

The affected staff members were inherited by NIMC from the defunct Department of National Civic Registration (DNCR), under the former Ministry of Internal Affairs, now Ministry of Interior, the commission said.

Mr. Olorunfemi claimed that the commission currently deploys high tech tools that require staff to be compliant, saying the affected staff members lacked such requisite qualification.

The staff had failed to improve themselves for years, and some of the originally affected 4,029 workers had been upgraded and retained by the commission, Mr. Olorunfemi said.

But the staff accused the commission of stagnating them at levels 04 and 05 without promotion for 10 years, a claim the commission conceded to saying there had been no vacancy.

“We have not conducted any promotion since we took over the management of the organization, what we have done is upgrading of staff that have made efforts to upgrade themselves,” Mr. Olorunfemi said.

On the issue of alleged plans to deny the workers’ pension benefits, Mr. Olorunfemi claimed that “pensions had been discontinued by government.”

He said the management had followed all the due process required for declaring the staff members redundant. The agency plans to pay off the disengaged workers with N900 million, according to its budget for 2012.

 

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