NEMA Workers Threaten Strike Amidst Ravaging Floods
While NEMA workers are demanding payment of the N665 million, failing which they will go on strike, the management is insisting on the verification of the claims.
The ACSN is also protesting the transfer of the secretary of the Women Commission Member of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Shaibu Afusatu, to Lagos and has demanded that she should be reposted to NEMA headquarters in Abuja.
But the Director-general of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja, is saying he inherited about N2.8 billion liabilities when he assumed office, including N665million unverified staff claims, which he insisted must be verified before payment.
Maihaja who pointed out that NEMA workers have been receiving their salaries and claims as and when due since he came on board insisted that he has no anti-labour agenda as being insinuated by the staff.
He, however, admitted that he had redeployed the President of ASCSN in NEMA back to the headquarters in Abuja.
He said, “I inherited the liabilities and for all intents and purposes, a chief executive ought to verify all claims that are not paid before he resumes. I am doing exactly that.
“I have not owed workers their salaries since I came on board. Also, I have been paying all the claims of workers of NEMA as and when due since I resumed in April 2017. I am not anti-labour but I am insisting on due process to verify the outstanding claims which I inherited”.
Also, a senior staff of the agency who confirmed the planned strike to LEADERSHIP said, “While the workers were mounting pressure for payment of claims, NEMA management was insisting on verification of all outstanding claims. The next we received was threat to go on strike”.
Spokesperson of the agency, Sani Datti, when asked to respond to these issues, said he was currently away on Sallah break but will respond when he resumes and get full briefing on the issues.
The threat to embark on strike by staff of NEMA, an agency saddled with the responsibility to among other things, provide relief to victims of disasters across the country, is coming at a time some states are witnessing devastating flood disaster.