Education agency workers protest alleged delay in promotion, confirmation of appointment

Workers of NMEC protesting
Workers of NMEC protesting

Members of the senior staff of the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education (NMEC) on Wednesday in Abuja took to the streets to protest over alleged injustice they face at the agency.

The workers under the Association of Senior civil servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) listed their grievances to include outstanding promotion, non-confirmation of employment since 2015, lack of staff training and their migration to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS) platform.

IPPIS was established in April 2007 to handle payment of salaries and wages directly to the government employee’s bank account with appropriate deductions.

The protesting workers also called for the removal of the Executive Secretary of the agency, Haladu Abubakar.

They had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the permanent secretary Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, on April 1 over the call but the ultimatum was ignored.

Subsequently, they gave another 14 and then seven days ultimatum ahead of their commencement of industrial action.

During the protest, the Chairman of ASCSN, Ismail Oniyangi, described the leadership of Mr Abubakar as a “one man management “.

Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Oniyangi said Mr Abubakar had a meeting with the former ministers of Education and Labour on December 12, 2018, where it was agreed that the issues raise by the workers would be resolved immediately.

“None of the agreements was implemented, so we started writing to them,” he said.

Mr Oniyangi said Mr Echono advised the association to visit Mr Abubakar but “when we visited him, he said he did not want to see us.”

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One of the protesters, Yomi Peters, said Mr Abubakar had set up a committee for the appraisal of the issues.

“They worked and brought a report to him which he rejected,” Mr Peters said.

He said the appraisal had lingered for too long, adding, “we are angry. ”

Mr Peters said the executive secretary came in at the verge of promotion but failed to carry out the exercise.

“The director of administration wrote a reminder to him then but he ignored it,” he said

Another staff of NMEC, M.A Yekeen-Olalekan, said she started work seven years ago but has not been promoted.

“When the E. S came on board, all actions that were to be followed were suspended,” she also said.

She said the actions of the executive secretary had discouraged the staff.

Terry Florence, another worker, said she was employed in 2012 but has yet to enjoy any promotion.

“We have pleaded with the ES to take steps to promote us but all to no avail,” she said.

She said the workers were demanding promotion, confirmation of appointment of qualified staff since 2015, and training to improve their knowledge.

Efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to get Mr Abubakar to respond to the claims of the protesters were unsuccessful.

He did not respond to multiple calls and text messages to his known phone lines.

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