The adverse effects of the flood in Benue State and other distressed communities may worsen as officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have threatened to embark on strike over the non-payment of their allowances, among other issues.
The threat was contained in a letter written by the Secretary-General of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Isaac Ojenmhenike; which was addressed to the President, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and other senior government officials.
In the letter dated August 10, 2017, the association asked the Federal Government to meet their demands on or before August 31, or they would embark on strike.
It stated, “The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria is constrained to inform you that its leadership had met with the management of NEMA on several occasions to discuss labour issues affecting its members to no avail.
“The most grievous of these labour issues include the refusal of the NEMA management to pay legitimate overtime claims of deserving staff; the refusal of the management to renew the personnel life assurance policy of staff and the monthly unauthorised payments to certain categories of staff using nepotism by the management of NEMA without due process.”
The association also accused the management of the agency of failing to train its personnel as well as refusing to pay the Duty Tour Allowance and other claims to deserving officers.
The letter added, “If the management of NEMA fails to address these unfair labour practices at the expiration of this 21-day ultimatum, the leadership of the association should not be held liable for whatever industrial action it chooses to embark upon.”
As reported by Punch, an employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Since the new DG resumed, he has been silent on approvals for different projects at the IDPs’ camps. There is now over N2 billion in NEMA’s account, but the DG has refused to release money for anything.
“If not that the President directed him to intervene in the Benue incident, he would have done nothing about it. In fact, the Benue incident is the first flood disaster that NEMA is trying to tackle since the agency got its new DG.”
The agency’s Head, Media and Public Relations, Sani Datti, he would not speak on the matter until Tuesday after the holiday.
“For now, I can’t say anything because I’m in Kano. You know we are still observing the public holiday; I think until when we resume on Tuesday, then we can see what will happen. So I can’t say anything for now, until Tuesday,” he said.