JUST-IN: Niger Civil Servants Begin Indefinite Strike

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Government workers in Niger State have embarked on indefinite strike action on Wednesday morning following a directive by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

The industrial action followed state government’s failure to meet the workers’ demands.

The state chairman of the NLC, Idrees Lafene, and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Ibrahim Gana, had on Monday directed civil servants in the state to commence an indefinite strike over what they described as the failure of the state government to continue negotiations on issues affecting the welfare of the workers and the smooth running of the state.

The organised Labour had asked the state government to reverse all political appointments as Executive Directors of Finance, Operations and Administration in agencies.

It also asked the government to reverse the appointments of chairmen, members and permanent commissioners of Local Government Service Commission and Civil Service Commission as well as appointments of directors-general of some government agencies.

Other demands included “a clear statement by the government on payment of wage award.”

The organised labour also warned the state government against appointment of civil servants that are not qualified as permanent secretaries while asking the government to withdraw the appointment of a vice principal on secondment as permanent secretary to allow for career progression from within civil service.

The organised Labour also warned the state government to desist from victimising teachers and members of the educational sector following the recent primary school’s debate in Agaie local government area, which the government alleged that a pupil-participant used vulgar and violent language against the federal government.

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

However, the Secretary to the State Government, Abubakar Usman, in a move to avert the strike informed journalists that a meeting to iron out issues with the workers movement was slated for Tuesday afternoon.

He noted that the Governor Mohammed Umar Bago administration was enjoying a cordial relationship with the organised labour, assuring all that contentious issues would be addressed in the best interest of the state.

“In furtherance of this understanding, the government of Niger State today, Tuesday 20th February, 2024 invited organised labour to a meeting by 2 pm and it is hoping to receive its cooperation in this regard,” he said.

It was reported that the NLC/ TUC, however, shunned the Tuesday meeting with the State government.

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