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Niger State: Reverse all appointments before any dialogue – NLC/TUC tells Gov. Bago

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Government workers in Niger State on Wednesday embarked on an indefinite strike to press down their demands for good wages, among other issues. 

The strike action was declared on Tuesday by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) state chapter and its counterpart, the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The state NLC chairman, Idrees Lafena and the TUC chairman, Ibrahim Gana, conveyed the strike notice in a letter addressed to the state Governor, Muhammad Bago. They expressed disappointment at the governor’s indiscriminate appointments and called for the immediate reversal of those appointments. 

The letter said, “We are writing in furtherance to our earlier letter of ultimatum Ref no. OL/NS/040/GEN/Vol 4/29 dated 20/12/23 and the deadlock on settlement of issues as a result of negotiations with the Niger State Government Committee.

“We wish to formally inform the Government that effective 8 am on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, that Niger State workers shall commence an indefinite strike action until our demands are comprehensively met.”

The union declared that they were open to dialogue subject to the following:

“Conveyance of formal invitation, reversal of all appointments in dispute, i.e., Executive Directors Finance, Executive Directors Admin and Executive Directors Operations, Chairman, members and permanent commissioners of Local Government Service Commission and Civil Service Commission, Directors General of some agencies.

“A clear statement by the government on payment of wage award. We also wish to stress that the Organised Labour will no longer tolerate the idea of appointing Permanent Secretaries who are not eligible and within the service.

“Accordingly, we call on the government to withdraw the recent appointment of a Vice Principal on secondment as a Permanent Secretary to allow for career progression from within,” the union said. 

They also implore the government to refrain from harassing the educational sector because of a trending debate by some school children. 

“We also call on the government to desist from victimising teachers and members from the educational sector due to the recent debate by a primary school pupil in Agaie LGA.”

Following the backdrop of protest in Minna, the state capital, Governor Bago banned the bulk purchase and export of foodstuffs from local markets. He said security agencies had been directed to confiscate trucks laden with food items. 

“Trucks who come to park or buy foodstuff from our villagers in bulk should be halted for now. We have stopped mass purchases from our local markets in all our local governments till further notice. Anybody found doing that, we have given security agencies the go-ahead to confiscate those trucks and share the food with the people.”

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