FHA staff plan industrial action over promotion arrears 

FHA’s Managing Director, Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin

There are indications that staffers of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies may begin full-blown industrial action next week.  

This comes as the three-day strike ultimatum issued to the management of the Authority between Monday this week and yesterday (Wednesday) expired this morning (Thursday).

The union embarked on a three-day warning strike to protest the refusal of the management to effect the promotion of deserving workers since 2011 and implementation of policies that are deemed to be anti-workers.  

Reacting to the warning strike, the management described the development as unnecessary. It maintained that the demands of the unions have been largely met and what is still outstanding require ministerial approval, which is still being awaited.  

The General Secretary of the Union, Ayo Olorunfemi said the workers had no other choice but to embark on the warning strike after series of notices to the management did not elicit response.

He accused the management of refusing to conduct promotion exercise since 2011 for deserving officers, adding that a lot of officers of the agency who retired from service were forced to retire due to stagnation created in the system.

The union also alleged that government deliberately deny workers in the agency from rising above certain level, while political appointees occupy positions that career civil servants should occupy.

Olorunfemi also accused the management of non-payment of outstanding housing allowances to staff on grade levels 14 and above, refusal to remit statutory deductions from the salary of staff to the National Health Insurance Scheme and the National Housing Fund thereby denying them access to health care and housing.

He also said that the management of the agency has also not remitted tax deducted from workers salaries to the appropriate agencies of government, which deny workers the opportunity of obtaining tax clearance.

Reacting to the allegations, Managing Director of the FHA, Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin said the agency has set in motion machinery to ensure that civil servants and not political appointees occupy the positions of General Managers.

He explained that the positions of government before he was appointed was to privatise FHA and remove it from direct government budget, but that government has now changed its earlier position base on his advise.

He said further that management met 70% of the union’s demands as at last week Friday by borrowing money from its capital vote to pay deductions for NHIS and other deductions as well as pay the housing allowance of senior staff whose entitlements have not been paid.

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