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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Civil servants in Niger to embark on indefinite strike  

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Civil servants in Niger State, operating under the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, have resolved to embark on an indefinite strike action, starting by 8am on Wednesday.

The action follows the failure of the state government to meet the demands presented by the NLC, despite previous negotiations.

The NLC, in a letter addressed to Governor Mohammed Bago and signed by the NLC Chairman, Idrees Lafene, and the Trade Union Congress Chairman, Ibrahim Gana, expressed disappointment over the government’s failure to meet their demands and reiterated their commitment to the strike action until their demands are met.

The letter read in part, “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 8am on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, Niger State workers will commence an indefinite strike action until our demands are comprehensively met.

Among the key demands of the union are the reversal of disputed appointments, including those of Executive Directors, Chairmen, members, and permanent commissioners of the Local Government Service Commission and Civil Service Commission, as well as Directors General of some agencies.

They also called for a clear statement from the government regarding the payment of wage awards.

The NLC also stressed the need for the government to cease the appointment of Permanent Secretaries from outside the civil service, insisting on career progression from within the service.

They also called for an end to the victimization of teachers and members of the educational sector following a recent debate by primary school pupils in Agaie LGA.

“We also wish to stress that the idea of appointing Permanent Secretaries who are not eligible and within the service will no longer be tolerated by the Organised Labour.

“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.

“We also call on the government to desist from victimising teachers and members from the educational sector as a result of the recent debate by some primary school pupils in Agaie LGA.”

The organised labour said their doors remain open for negotiation, provided the government meets their conditions, and expressed their continued commitment to Governor Bago’s New Niger Agenda.

However, NLC noted that there had been no response to their previous correspondence, leading to the commencement of the strike action.

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