BREAKING: NIMC workers begin strike over funding, exposure to COVID-19

Thousands of Nigerians applying for the National Identity numbers have been locked outside of the offices of the National Identity Management Commission as staff of the agency embarked on strike.

President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael, and its Secretary, Odia Victor, who signed the notice of strike on Thursday, said  the decision follows the concluded congress of the association.

“Consequent upon the just concluded congress of the above mentioned association that took place on January 6, 2020, the unit executive directs all members of grade level 12 and below in the head office and state offices to report to their respective duty posts tomorrow January 7, 2020 and do nothing.

“All members at the local government offices and special centres are advised to stay away from their various centres as task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance to the directive,” the statement read in part.

Recall that the Nigerian Communications Commission had last month asked all telecoms firms to disconnect the SIM cards of all persons who have not integrated their National Identity Numbers with their phone lines by the end of January.

The communique by the congress said the strike had become necessary due to the exposure of staff to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in promotion and poor funding.

They also asked to be paid overtime and given enough tools to work with.

The congress noted that, “Staff members were infected with COVID-19 and adequate measures have not been taken to curtail the spread. The meeting resolved that safety of staff should be prioritised. Furthermore the office environment should be fumigated immediately.

“The congress agreed that the NIMC staff salary structure approved by the Federal Government vide Presidential assent be implemented in the personnel appropriation of the 2021 annual budget effective January 2021.

“That the lopsided and irregular promotion done in 2017 and 2020 be reviewed, regularised and gazetted in accordance with public service rules.”

Presently, more than 100 million Nigerians have yet to do so which has caused huge crowds to gather at the various offices of NIMC in breach of the COVID-19 protocol.

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