By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti
There is palpable fear in Ekiti State over alleged secret plot by the State House of Assembly to sack some of its workforce under the guise of staff audit.
The list of affected workers, according to a close source within the inner circle of the Assembly Complex, who spoke with our reporter on condition of anonymity, had already been compiled.
The source who did not disclosed the exact number of workers to be sacked, said the House of Assembly Service Commission had decided to embark on the staff audit to legalize the alleged disengagement plan.
This came as the organised labour in the State condemned the alleged plan by the House of Assembly to sack some staff under the guise of staff audit.
The organised labour in a letter jointly signed by the Secretaries of Nigeria Labour Congress, Coms Taiwo Akinyemi, Trade Union Congress, Lawrence Kuloogun and Joint Negotiating Council, Gbenga Olowoyo, said the unions will resist any attempt to shove out some workers under the facade of staff audit.
In a letter dated 11th January, 2021 and addressed to the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Funminiyi Afuye, warned that sacking any worker at this point would strain the smooth and robust relationship between the labour and the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
The letter entitled: “Staff audit in Ekiti State House of Assembly Service commission, Need for caution’, expressed disgust over the alleged audit, it described as not being in tandem with the spirit of trust between the labour and government.
It stated: “It is very essential to inform you that the attention of the State leadership of the Organized Labour has been drawn to the activities of the House of Assembly Service commission through a letter dated 9th January, 2021, by Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PSSAN) in respect of Staff Audit report which is now before the House of Assembly Service commission.
“As a matter of necessity, the leadership of the Organized Labour fumed over any action under the guise of Staff Audit to disrupt industrial peace in the workplace among Public Servants in Ekiti State.
“There is no doubting the fact that the purported affected staff have been on the State integrated payroll solution system (I.e. Biometrics) captured since 2011.
“The sincere concern of the State leadership of the Organized Labour in Ekiti State is that all actions that may be tantamount to sacking of any worker (s) in any of the Arms of government or Ministry/ Department/ Agency (MDAs) will be vigorously resisted.”
The labour said it would not tolerate any act of victimisation against any worker as responsible leaders, urging the assembly to imbibe the spirit of negotiation.
“We hereby admonish the House of Assembly Service commission leadership and most expediently the Rt. Honourable Speaker to halt any action that may snowball into sacking of any worker.
“This is not the best of time for such inhuman action.”
But reacting to the claim, the Chairman, Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission, Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun described it as a monumental falsehood, saying there wasn’t any attempt to sack any worker.
The former Deputy Speaker said: “For the purpose of clarity, we are not sacking anybody. Staff audit is a periodic policy allowed by law to update our staff strength and ascertain our nominal roll.
“I don’t understand what the labour leaders were saying that the audit was intended to sack people. I want to say that this allegation was wrong. We never had the intention of sacking anyone under any guise.”
Source: The Nation