Thursday, September 23, 2021

NEMA sacks over 42 workers after denying them 1-year salary

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has sacked over 42 of its newly recruited workers without paying them a one-year salary.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the sacked workers were recruited in December 2019 – a couple of months before the sack of former Director-General Mustapha Maihaja.

While trying to finalise documentations and settle in the new workplace, the new NEMA management led by AVM Muhammadu Mohammed wrote to the new staffers, informing them that their appointment was illegal, adding that some civil service regulations were not duly followed.

The letter, dated June 30, 2020, asked them to stay action pending the outcome of conclusive investigation.

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Issuing a second letter, dated January 25, 2021 and signed by a NEMA Deputy Director, Musa Zakari, NEMA told the affected staff that the “the outcome of the investigation shows that the laid down rules and regulations guiding recruitment into the civil service were not duly exhausted, thereby vitiating the whole process and its outcome”.

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The letter, therefore, cancelled the appointment letters given to the new recruits forthwith for “being not in order”.

Earlier, on September 8, 2020, the affected workers had petitioned the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, seeking her intervention in the development.

The sacked workers, some of whom resigned from their jobs to take the NEMA offer, insisted that they passed through all the necessary processes regarding recruitment into the agency.

According to them, relevant bodies took part in the exercise, “the Federal Character Commission which has since issued NEMA a certificate of compliance and also the Public Service Institute which ensured a seamless exercise and also ensured that the most suitable candidates were recruited to take up the various vacant positions spanning various levels and grades”.

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“We have all resigned from our various places of work and now have no means of taking care of ourselves and dependents. This month September makes it exactly one year since the recruitment exercise.

“By December, we will be marking one year of untold hardship as a result of appointment without employment.

“We were issued temporary means of identification which stated categorically that we are bonafide staff of the agency.

“The recruitment exercise was approved by NEMA Board as far back as 2018. At that time, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development did not exist. Why then is the Ministry now stalling our progress?,” the affected staff said.

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The sacked workers disclosed that they never received a kobo from NEMA as salary or support of any form since taking the appointment.

They also alleged that some NEMA officials are all out to truncate their recruitment, saying, “This is glaring in the way and manner NEMA officials have handled this matter. We are treated as enemies rather than comrades.”

“The former DG, Engr. Maihaja did not employ us to work for him, rather we were recruited to serve our country Nigeria through NEMA,” the workers added.

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