by Isi Esene
The Federal Government recently added to the swelling numbers of the unemployed in Nigeria when it approved the sack of 3,000 employees of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The commission was said to have advised its staff to endeavour to shore up their educational qualifications to a minimum of a University Degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), but only 500 of them were found to be qualified at the conclusion of the staff verification exercise undertaken by the commission’s management.
The spokesman of the commission, Mr. Anthony Okwudiofar, in a statement said the commission inherited an unwieldy staff strength from the defunct Department of National Civic Registration (DNCR), a position which would be difficult to manage in an Information Technology driven environment.
He said, “Consequently, NIMC carried out personnel audit in 2011 to determine the actual number of staff in its workforce and to also find out the number of staffers that have acquired additional qualifications needed to deliver on the National Identity Management System (NIMS) project. Over 500 staffers were found to have acquired additional qualifications and were all cleared and absorbed into the system.”
Okwudiofar continued saying, “The outcome of this staff personnel audit five years after Federal Government’s implementation of the directive for Civil Service Reform, the NIMC Board considered and approved a new structure that has room for only Nigerians with a minimum of first Degree or HND as the entry qualification in the NIMC.”
But this decision did not go down well with the sacked employees who reportedly staged a protest against their disengagement from work yesterday in Abuja. They expressed their displeasure at the government’s action and vehemently called for the removal of the commission’s Director-General, Barrister Chris Onyemenam, who they believe should be held responsible for their plight.