Workers picket headquarters of NPC, want DG sacked
• Ajimobi cancels automatic promotion in Oyo civil service
The Nigerian Civil Service Union (NCSU), yesterday continued the picketing of headquarters of the Nigeria Population Commission (NPC). The workers are demanding the removal of its Director General, Ismailla Ghanji Bello.
Bello, who was recently reappointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, is facing opposition from the union and the NPC management.According to the NCSU, the director general lacks the capacity to actualise the mission and vision of the NPC.
They also accused him of corrupt practices and flagrant disregard for staff welfare.The NCSU National President, Rita Agaba, insisted that the union would not allow Bello to return to the commission.
The situation has posed a threat to the census planned to hold this year.According to Agaba, allowing Bello to continue in office would destroy the solid foundation laid by previous administrators of the NPC.
“With the issues on ground, I doubt if the census would hold this year. We have not done demarcation and a lot of other things. “Ghanji has assumed too much political power that it is doubtful if he could conduct acceptable census in the country.”
Also, a Deputy Director in the NPC, Husaini Isiaku, alleged that the workers’ morale was too low to carry out the planned head count. According to the deputy director, none of the 14 directors is allowed to make input at meetings, which attests to the fact that the director general takes decisions alone.
Isiaku explained that only 13 commissioners are left in the service, out of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adding that the tenure of the rest had expired without being replaced.
Following this development, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, yesterday summoned meeting with the aggrieved workers.The meeting ended in a deadlock, as the workers insisted that an acting director general must be appointed from the commission.
Meanwhile, Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has cancelled automatic promotion in the civil service.The governor disclosed this in Ibadan, the state capital, during the 2018 New Year interfaith service.
According to him, the decision was based on the realisation that mass promotion encourages ‘indolence and inefficiency.’Ajimobi said henceforth, promotion would be based on competence, hard work, efficiency and a service-oriented public service.He said: “We have started to produce, highfliers, and those who make significant contributions to the development of the state would be identified and adequately rewarded.
“By so doing, we will unlock the potential within the system. The present appraisal system in the public service would be reviewed. “Some innovations would be introduced to make an assessment of the performance of workers more objective and quantifiable.”
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