The Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and the Satellite Towns Development Agencies (STDAs), is set to mobilise all staff of the FCTA, the FCDA and the SDAs for a 40, 000-delegates march to compel the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to, within 21 days, consider and direct the immediate implementation of the FCT-Civil Service Commission Act of 2018.
The Act, when implemented, will restore proper identity, status and career progression to the FCTA, FCDA and STDA staff just like their counterparts in other federal ministries, agencies and the 36 states.
JUAC stated in their letter to the FCT Minister, Mr. Muhammad Musa Bello, signed on their behalf by the Chairman, Comrade Matilukuro Oluwakorede and Secretary-General Comrade Akuh Enojo Sunday, that “the Joint Unions are poised and prepared to take all necessary action within the ultimatum of 21 days to ensure Management’s compliance with the various demands.
They stated that failure by the Minister and the FCTA Management to comply would constrain the Joint Unions “to direct all staff through their affiliate unions, to shut down the FCT Administration and the Office of the Honourable Minister pending the implementation of the various demands, especially the FCT Civil Service Commission.”
JUAC reminded the Minister that they are currently superintending over 15 affiliate unions across the FCT, while they would leverage on existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the independent unions, including the Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA) and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) to enforce their demands “should push come to shove”.
The Joint Unions expressed their disappointment with the manner the Minister and the FCTA have been handling their demands, stressing: “Without mincing words, we have recently observed with dismay that you can no longer be trusted by the unions and staff. Truly, your word is no longer your bond considering the avalanche of unfulfilled promises made to the FCT staff and the unions.
“Sir, you may please recall that we have approached you severally, calling your attention to the FCT-Civil Service Commission, which has been passed into law and gazetted since 2018. We compassionately appealed to you, while reminding you of the negative implications of the hurriedly-implemented Order 1 of 2004, which dissolved the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory.
“Besides the administrative lacuna created by the problem, the staff of the FCT Administration are increasingly losing their identity and career progression, especially with respect to the directorate cadre. This situation, no doubt, has resulted in, and indeed, encourages overbearing dispositions, officiousness and corporate high-handedness by some directors who feel their kernels were cracked by opportunistic benevolent spirits, thereby lording it over the less-privileged staff with unbridled impunity.”
The unions and staff of the FCTA drew the Minister’s attention to “the various fruitless correspondences” they had had with him regarding the issue among which were the JUAC letter, referenced JUAC/FCTA-STDAs/HM/AUGUST/2021/VLI/003, dated August 19, 2021, and others.
They equally drew the Minister’s attention to his promise to implement the Commission law during the last quarterly meeting which he has not kept with less than one year to the end of the tenure of the current administration.
“Sir, it is needless to remind you that there is no time again to act except now as your administration does not have the ample time to act again especially as we are heading back for square one;” they advised him.
They recalled that the Joint Unions once carried out a nation-wide research on the Civil Service Structure and discovered with serious concerns that all the Federal and State Governments have their streamlined Civil Service Structure, which gives specific identity and status to their civil servants while FCTA is the only exception. The system under the federal and the state structures provides them the opportunity to effectively and efficiently co-ordinate their activities, policies and programmes through the Federal and State Civil Service Commissions while FCTA remains the contraption that has lost its identity through the Presidential Order 1 of 2004.
The FCTA staff are sad that they have equally lost their seniority status even to their juniors at the Federal level (Federal Civil Service staff), resulting in complex administrative confusion, despair and loss of faith and confidence in the system. They maintained that the problem could be resolved if the Minister and the FCTA mustered the political will to implement the Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission Act to restructure the FCT Administration and its parastatal.
The JUAC posited further that “the prolonged delay or non-implementation of this Act of Parliament, gazetted into Law by the FCT Administration since 2018, has further left the FCT workforce in total despondency beyond the expectation and satisfaction of an average civil servant in all tiers of government, which is to reach the pinnacle of his or her career.”
In addition to restructuring the FCTA and the FCDA, the JUAC also requested the Minister’s directive for the implementation of the new AEPB Salary Scale, Employment of the Locum Staff and the Conversion, Upgrading and Advancement of Staff, among other outstanding issues.
Below is the full text of the JUAC letter to the Minister:👇🏾
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