The House of Representatives has directed an investigation into the alleged maltreatment of staff of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by the agency’s management.
It mandated its Committee on Labour and Productivity to investigate all anti-labour activities in the agency, and to look into all promotions made in the past five years.
It asked the Managing Director of NAN, Buki Ponle, to redeploy Collins Yakubu, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NAN chapter, back to Abuja.
Mr Yakubu was allegedly deployed to Plateau State because of his labour union activities.
These resolutions were sequel to a motion moved by Lawrence Ayeni (APC, Osun) on Wednesday.
In the motion, Mr Ayeni said there have been reported cases of victimisation and anti-labour activities in the agency, stressing that public establishments like NAN are under obligation to comply with the extant provisions in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 which, guarantees the freedom of association and to hold an opinion.
“The current situation in the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), a public institution saddled with the responsibility of disseminating government’s activities, has been overwhelmed by politics in terms of staff promotion,’ he said.
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He added that the management of the agency has been promoting some staff of the agency without following due process.
Mr Ayeni stated that these activities are against public service rules and a breach of due process.
He noted that union labour leaders have been victims of most of the maltreatments that have been taking place in the agency.
“Leaders, arbitrarily suspended the NUJ Chairman, in contravention of all known conventions and labour practices in the country”, he stated.
Consequently, the House directed its Committee on Information, Culture and National Orientation to support the Committee on Labour and Productivity to carry out the investigation into the issues raised in the motion, which was not subjected to debate.
The committees were mandated to recommend appropriate sanctions in their report.
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