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NIPC seeks salaries commission’s intervention to meet workers’ demands

Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) said it is seeking the approval of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to meet the demands of its workers.

Members of staff of the NIPC had on Thursday crippled business activities at the headquarters of the nation’s foremost investment promotion agency over allegations of poor working conditions and institutional failures.

Chairman of the NIPC workers’ union, Yusuf Mustapha, told newsmen that the union was demanding the immediate removal from office of the Commission’s executive secretary, Yewande Sadiku.

He claimed that if the government was to save the agency from collapse, then President Muhammadu Buhari must sack Sadiku.

But reacting to the development, the director, Strategic Communication, NIPC, Emeka Offor, in a statement on Friday said the management was concerned about the unexpected industrial action instituted by the leadership of the NIPC Staff Union.

He said the management had always made staff welfare and development a priority.

According to him, major welfare improvements were initiated by the management without being prompted to stimulate productivity and ensure job satisfaction for members of staff.

NIPC said, “Management notes with great concern, the unexpected industrial action instituted by the leadership of the NIPC Staff Union, which they claim was related to staff welfare matters.

“Management wishes to put on record, that it has always made staff welfare and development a priority. Major welfare improvements were initiated by Management without being prompted, to stimulate productivity and ensure staff job satisfaction.

“The improvements include the introduction of a Productivity Allowance that rewards staff when budget targets are met, a Post Service Benefit Scheme to provide for those who retire or leave after many years of service, a Staff Housing Loan Scheme that can help with home ownership, a Group Life Insurance Policy that will support families of any staff we lose, and many others.

” These improvements are in addition to the regular payment of staff salaries by the Federal Government.

“The evidence of Management’s commitment is an increase in the expenditure on staff welfare from N28.46m (5.91% of IGR) in 2016 to N500m (45.45% of IGR) in 2020.

” Despite the disruptions to work schedules due to COVID-19 and only a partial resumption of work by all government agencies from May, Management has been faithfully implementing the terms of an Agreement reached with the Union in late February.

“The approval of the NIPC Governing Council was secured on 24 June for the final items. As required by government policies for allowances created by the Governing Council, final clearance from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission is being vigorously pursued.”

“It is important to note that a member of the Governing Council obtained an exparte Order on 19 December 2019, stopping the Commission from spending its IGR, which is the source of funding for most of its activities.

“The Order was lifted only on 13 May 2020 when judgment was granted in favour of NIPC by the Federal High Court. While the Order lasted, NIPC was unable to pay for all the welfare items which are funded from IGR.

“It was disconnected for non-payment of electricity bills and was unable to pay for diesel to power generators and to pay the salaries of outsourced service providers (security guards, cleaners, gardeners and others).

“Management reaffirms its commitment to building a Commission that is motivated to achieving the goals and objectives of its establishment. We will continue to dialogue with the Union to resolve their concerns.

“Management has been working on embedding a culture of full compliance with all obligations and is proud that NIPC was ranked the 2nd best of the 191 MDAs that were assessed for the 2019 National FOI Compliance & Transparency Ranking, up from 90th out of 131 agencies in 2016.”

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