Nigeria: Senior civil servants suspend strike

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has suspended its four weeks old nationwide strike.

In a press statement on Friday by its Secretary General, Bashir Lawal, the union stated that the suspension of the industrial action followed the release of some money by the Federal Government, which is being used to pay the 1st batch of the promotion arrears to the staff of the Federal Ministry of Education.

“Besides, there have been appeals by well-meaning Nigerians including the honourable members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Service Matters who met with the Union and the management of the Federal Ministry of Education on Thursday October 17, 2014 in Abuja and emphasised the need for the Ministry to pay its staff all their outstanding entitlements,” the statement read.

According to the statement, the union also called for the removal of the Permanent Secretary in the Education Ministry, MacJohn Nwaobiala.

The union said the negative attitude of the permanent secretary towards the welfare of the ministry’s workers and the ignoble role he played by treating welfare issues with levity provided the ingredients that fuelled the industrial action

Mr. Lawal said if the permanent secretary had done the needful, all the allowances, many of which have been outstanding since 2007, would have been paid.

“Persistent strikes in the Education sector have more than confirmed that the permanent secretary has lost his bearing and as such, the best option for the Government is to post him out of the Federal Ministry of Education before he completely destroys the sector,” he said.

The statement added that a task force made up of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Education has been set up to ensure that the N1.7 billion needed to complete the payment of promotion arrears and other allowances were released by the Budget Office of the Federation.

Mr. Lawal explained that these other allowances include the 1st 28 days in lieu of hotel accommodation, Duty Tour Allowance, 2010 Mandatory Training Allowance, Burial Expenses Allowance, FTC Course Allowance, Repatriation Allowance amongst others

On Friday, the association called out its members at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Inspectorate Offices and the 104 Federal Unity Colleges to press home its demands for the payment of the above entitlements and allowances. The strike action paralysed activities at the affected places.

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