By Juliana MAIRIGA, Minna
As civil servants in the state join their counterparts across the country to mark the 2017 Workers’ day the Niger state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has kicked against what it termed, politicization of the appointments of Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service.
The workers are specifically worried that it has become almost a habit for successive governments to appoint politicians with little or no knowledge of what civil service is all about as Permanent Secretaries (PS) at the detriment of career civil servants who may have risen through the ranks to reach the peak of their career.
State NLC chairman, Comrade Yahaya Idris Ndako at a rally of all affiliate unions of the NLC said, “The appointment of Perm Secs from outside the service has brought about indiscipline, inefficiency and mediocrity which were alien to the civil service in the past”.
It is important that government should put a stop to the policy whereby politicians take the place of career civil servants and institute, “Productivity Award” in the service to encourage workers on the need to be more dedicated to their duties.
Ndako also alerted the Governor Abubarkar Sani Bello led administration that, “The teaching profession is presently facing serious crisis of brain drain. Many teachers have been leaving the sector for other lucrative jobs thereby creating a large vacuum”.
He therefore charged the state government to as a matter of urgency and in the interest of educational development of Niger state recruit more qualified teachers in both primary and post-primary levels to address the brain drain syndrome.
Labour union also wants the government to without further delay pay the entitlements of all retired workers saying. “Lack of payment of pensions and gratuities to retired workers has led to untimely deaths of many while some others are now living from hand to mouth”.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isah Ladan who represented Governor Bello announced that the administration had spent over N2.6 billion on the payment of pension and gratuities to retirees since it assumed office in the past two years.
Also, an executive bill on the Contributory Pension Scheme had been sent to the Niger State House of Assembly for passage into law, the state government scribe said, adding that the vacuums created in the service were already being filled.
He however solicited for the support and cooperation of labour union in Niger state towards building a virile workforce to meet the personnel needs of the state and, “in the task of rebuilding Niger state”.