Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The over 200 aggrieved staff of the National Copy Right Commission (NCC), on Monday, protested the non-payment of their allowances owed them since 2011.
They also called on the Federal government to sack the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, and cause a thorough investigation of his criminal activities in the Commission.
Meanwhile, activities at the Commission’s Headquarters were grounded as offices were shut down following the protest.
The protesting workers further called for the suspension of the Director Administration, Mr. Bitrus Dauda and the setting up a disciplinary committee to investigate his earning of about 3million naira illegally earned as 2014 December salary.
In a statement, on Monday, the Senior Staff Association vowed that until Mr. Ezekude is sacked, investigated, and prosecuted; the Industrial action will persists and they will intensify their yearnings even until the first week of December, 2018 when the purported illegal tenure renewal will expire by effluxion of time.
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The statement was jointly signed Ihuma Okwu Moses and Kunle Olatunji, Unit Chairman and Unit Secretary respectively.
They further called for the re-organization of the Administration department of the Commission as well as appointment of a competent and experienced Director to head the department within one month to ensure professionalism and smooth running of the Commission.
Other demands of the workers include a review and withdrawals of all queries / warning letters issued to officers as a result of their participation in union activities in 2015.
“Development of comprehensive Administration structure /organization within one month from the date of the communiqué for the purpose of getting the approval establishment from office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
“Training of Procurement officers to handle the procurement needs of the Commission and holding of regular town hall meeting with its staff to address burning industrial issues in order to discuss and nip in the bud issues capable of escalating to industrial action.
They lamented that “Over six months down the line, Mr. Ezekude has refused to implement the agreement and is surreptitiously deferring the issues to his successor to inherit.
The Association said it had issued a 14-day ultimatum to Mr. Ezekude sometime in May, 2018 but he paid deaf ears to the request.
“Similarly, the Association had written several letters requesting for a meeting of the Union Exco and the management amongst such are letters dated 27th July, 2018 and August 3rd, 2018 respectively all to no avail. The letters of request for urgent meeting was also copied to the Honourable Attorney General & Minister of Justice being the supervising Minister and Hon. Minister of Labour & Employment.
The Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige intervened l and convened series of meetings between the Commission’s Management and staff on the 4/9/18, 11/09/18, 12/09/18 and 14/09/18 respectively but Mr. Ezekude flouted all the dates, and instead wrote a disdainful letter to the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment.
It was against this background that the Senior Staff of the Commission on Monday 17th September, 2018 commenced an industrial action which is ongoing.
Till date, Mr. Ezekude has not deemed it necessary as a responsible Chief Executive to address the workers and find amicable solution, rather Mr. Ezekude is moving round boasting that when the workers are tired, they will rescind.
The Senior Staff on the other hand has also vowed that until Mr. Ezekude is sacked, investigate((d, and prosecuted; the Industrial action will persists and they will intensify their yearnings even until the 1st week of December, 2018 when the purported illegal tenure renewal will expire by effluxion of time.
The present demands of staff include: “Release of 2017 promotion result conducted 9 months ago; securing of the comprehensive administrative structure /organisation of the Commission; securing 2018 approved establishment.
Suspension of the Director Administration, Mr. Bitrus Dauda and setting up a disciplinary committee to investigate his earning of about 3million naira illegally earned as 2014 December salary.
Other demands include funding of the two staff nominated to participate in the procurement training in Lagos.
Reversal of vindictive posting of staff to departments outside their professional Cadre in accordance with Rule 020506(ii) of the Public Service Rules.
Payment of repatriation allowances owed staff who retired since 2012.
Payment of burial expenses to the family of our deceased colleagues
Payment of estacode allowances, DTAs and other allowances owed staff since 2012 and Payment of robe allowance and practicing fees owed lawyers in the Commission since 2012.