NAICOM workers issue seven-day notice to commence indefinite strike

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) workers said on Monday they have served their management a seven-day notice of their intention to embark on an indefinite strike.

The workers in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES in Abuja said the joint council of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) NAICOM Unit, and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Councils (JNPSNC) have already approved the action.

“We the members of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) NAICOM Unit, constituting council 1 of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Councils (JNPSNC), and a frontline affiliate member of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), feels extremely constrained to inform you of our preparedness to commence an industrial action in the National Insurance Commission if nothing is done in the next seven days to address our demands,” chairman of the workers association, Abdulateef Ibrahim, and his vice chairman, Maulud Usman, said in the notice.

The notice dated November 29 was addressed to the Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM, Abuja.

The association said its main grouse was the decision “to stagnate the career progression of staff of the commission.”

Last September, the workers staged a three-day warning strike to protest NAICOM management’s alleged failure to deliver on its agreement on staff welfare and improved working conditions.

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During the strike, the workers accused NAICOM management of not implementing September 26, 2017 agreement on workers’ welfare after a resolution at the end of a reconciliation meeting by Federal Ministry of Labour on August 28 on their demands.

Mr Ibrahim said the management had agreed to activate an online portal within a month, in addition to the provision of all working materials, including computers and other accessories to boost the corporation’s operational efficiency.

Other demands of the workers include bridging the gap between senior managers and directorate cadre, equitable review of tax among all categories of workers, and regular training programme for redeployed staff.

Also, workers had demanded the promotion for all categories of staff to take up the vacant positions left by those who either retired, died or their appointment terminated, and this was not limited to officers who are assistant managers.

According to Mr Ibrahim, apart from refusing to implement the agreements reached at the meeting, the NAICOM management has continued to mismanage available revenue on unauthorised local and foreign trips that do not add value to the commission’s mandate.

“Having reviewed the update provided in its letter dated November 27, 2018, the union found the NAICOM management deliberately violated the MOU it signed. Consequently, the Union has clarified the true position of the issues as contained in our letter to the ASCSN National body dated November 29, 2018.

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“Therefore, if these demands are not met within seven days from the date of this letter, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NAICOM Unit will wish to be absolved of any blame, whatsoever, if the aggrieved members of staff of the commission take to self-help in order to seek justice on the matter.”

Mr Ibrahim said notice has been sent to the Ministers of Finance, Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General, State Security Services (SSS), the President, Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria, the President, Association of Senior Civil Servant of Nigeria, and the Chairman, Governing Board of NAICOM.

NAICOM spokesperson, Rasak Salami, did not pick several calls to his telephones when this reporter attempted to seek NAICOM management’s reaction to the notice on Monday.

He did not also respond to the text messages sent to him for his comments.

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