On Friday, the national leadership of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, JPSNC, lamented that a pregnant woman lost her pregnancy at the venue of the ongoing verification exercise of 17,600 public servants on the federal government employ, who were initially tagged “ghost workers” by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Vanguard reports.
The 17,6000 federal government servants from the 36 states of the federation are at the Public Service institute of Nigeria, PSIN, Abuja. JPSNC in a statement jointly issued by Comrades Benjamin Anthony and Bomoi Mohammed Ibraheem, National Chairman and National Secretary respectively, noted that some of the workers from Bauchi and Borno states lost their lives on their way to Abuja for the verification exercise.
Besides, the labour group alleged that the workers were subjected to inhuman treatment as the sanitary facilities at the center have been over stretched and the whole place littered with human waste with strong stench on the premises.
Consequently, JPSNC, has called on the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to address this issue with human face to prevent further deaths and disasters of innocent Federal workers.
The labour group in a letter to the Head of Service said that the exercise should be urgently decentralized by holding it at the respective State Capitals to avoid further casualties.
The letter read: “The attention of the National leadership of Joint Public Service Negotiating Council has been drawn to the ongoing staff verification exercise of Federal Public Servants across the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory.
“It is worrisome observing the gory scene depicted by drafting over Seventeen Thousand Six Hundred(17,600) Federal Public Servants to converge in Abuja for verification after declaring them ghost workers by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and stopping their salaries with effect from September 2023. “The serious concern of the National leadership of Joint Public Service Negotiating Council is the process adopted which has no human face and very nauseating.
“It is very saddened to State that in the process of workers coming from their various destinations, the untoward occurred; for instance, information had it that some workers from Bauchi and Borno States died on their way to Abuja for the exercise, two workers collapsed in the process but were eventually rescued while a pregnant woman lost her pregnancy and Seventy people were injured due to pressures and over crowdedness and stampede.
“On visit to the Public Service institute of Nigeria (PSIN), it was discovered that the sanitary facilities have been over stretched, as the whole place was so littered with human waste with strong stench on the premises.
“The gory scenes are better imagined than experienced, on account that majority of the workers have no resources to cater for habitable place to stay while all of them have turned to refugees.
“It is on the aforesaid, that the National leadership of JPSNC is calling on the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to address this issue with human face to prevent further deaths and disasters of innocent Federal workers.
“It is axiomatic that he who calls for equity must come with clean hand, it is unfair for the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation that ordered the stoppage of payment of salaries of the affected workers and thereafter directed payment of salaries of same categories of workers who are working in the office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
“Arising from the above, The National leadership of Joint Public Service Negotiating Council hereby submit and demand as follows:
“That, the exercise should be urgently decentralized by holding the exercise at their respective State Capitals to avoid further casualties.
“That, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation should mandate Accountant General of the Federation to begin the payment of October, 2023 Salaries of these Workers which was hitherto Stopped, alongside with the Verification exercise, to mitigate their sufferings.
“That, JPSNC condemned the Constitution of the Committee for the exercise which excluded labour from the exercise which is a contravention of ILO convention that stipulates the Tripartite arrangements on matters that affect workers generally, it is unfortunate that the non compliance with Human Rights Charters within the purview of Industrial Relations concepts has rendered the exercise dehumanizing and notoriously wicked.
“That the office of the Head of Civil Service should urgently provide care and First Aid for the 36 States including FCT due to the magnitude of number of workers involved in the exercise.
“It is expedient, to state that we are constraint to present this letter to your office in order to urgently address this matter so that it will not snowball and escalate beyond, to a full blown Industrial crisis in the Public Service. A stitch on time saves nine.”