By G9ija

The National Labour Congress, NLC, Kaduna state council, has kicked against the mass sack of workers in the public service.

In a press statement issued by Com. Ayuba Magaji Suleiman and Com. Christiana John Bawa, State Chairmah and Secretary respectively, they said, “The Government of Kaduna State must take into effect the cost implication of the mass sack on the society and the implication it will be bear on families and already compromised security situation in our beloved state.
If the workers that were sacked in 2016 are yet to be paid their entitlements, how can the KDSG guarantee the payment of terminal benefits of those being sacked now?”

The workers noted that the State was already faced with issues of insecurity, unemployment, poverty, the devastating effect of Covid-19 pandemic and dwindling business prospects, adding that any additional pain on citizens would reasonably be repulsive to conscience.

The workers called on the state government to reverse what they called “this unpopular decision on the
mass sack of workers”, and seek alternative means of running government without inflicting additional pains on the public.

The NLC noted that why they pledged to remain organized, peaceful and rational in engaging the government and other stakeholders towards ensuring amicable resolution of this and other issues, it is their prayers that “prominent citizens and other people of goodwill (such as senior citizens, the political class, the clergy, traditional rulers, etc) would partner with organized Iabour with a view to saving the state from needless skirmishes.”

“This is necessary in order to prevent the labour movement from being compelled to take some drastic measures,” the statement noted.

The NLC lamented that the state has woken to a new style of governance where there is no security of tenure in the public service of Kaduna state, “as civil servants are daily threatened by the rumour of sack or actually stunned by mass sack of workers without recourse to the Extant Civil Service Rules which copiously makes provision for the procedure to be adhered to before a public servant is removed from service and not whimsically which seems to be the new normal in Kaduna state.”

It said the mass sack of workers in the public service of Kaduna state have been undertaken without recourse to the payment of Gratuity, Section 210 of the 1999 constitution, which guarantees Pension Rights and also without any fair hearing accorded the affected workers, saying that on Tuesday 6 April, 2021, thousands of workers in the Local Government Services of the State were issued with sack letters.

The statement explained, “It will interest everyone to note that the N5bn monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which the government is celebrating is generated through the hard work of the workers in public service of Kaduna whose only reward regrettably, seems to be mass sack, arbitrary/inconsistencies in salaries which most often fluctuates from month to month, thereby making it difficult for workers to plan in the face of spiraling inflation. Suffice, to state that the human person is the most important creature of God Almighty and any government policy no matter how altruistic which is not aimed at bettering the welfare of the human person cannot be said to be laudable and therein lies the social responsibility function of government.”

The statement said that any increased in IGR without a corresponding and remarkable improvement in the welfare of workers and the generality of the citizens is meaningless and cannot be celebrated by a broad spectrum of the people.

The workers noted that it is worrisome that the current State leadership sees development squarely from the capitalist point against such crucial indices such as human capital development, human right and the rule of law, noting that for development to be meaningful, it must be balanced and wholesome, in both human capital development and infrastructural growth.

It noted that in a dramatic twist of events, the Kaduna state government, recently in a manner defying of all rationality and logic especially in the face excruciating economic reality, issued a letter, which was signed by the Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to the Governor and sent to the Head of Service of Kaduna State, apparently preparatory to another round of mass sack in the public service of Kaduna state.

In the letter, the PPS requested for the comprehensive list of staff from all the MDAS as categorized Officers that are 50 years and above – Compulsory retirement, as well as officers on GL/14 and above, even if they are less than 50 years – Compulsory Retirement and all categories of officers on GL 01 -06 – Conversion to casual.

The letter also indicated that no Local Government should have more than 50 staff strength.