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Industrial action cripples governance in FCT

Government business in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) headquarters and its agencies was on Tuesday crippled by angry workers who embarked on a 3-day warning strike initiated to press home their demands, particularly the implementation of the FCT Civil Service Commission Act.

Signed into law in 2018, the FCT Civil Service Commission (Establishment) Act, among others seeks to end the appointment of a permanent secretary for the FCTA by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation but rather provide for a Head of Service for the FCTA as obtained in other states.

But after three years of enactment, the Act has not been implemented by the FCT administration, a situation that provoked the civil servants under the auspices of Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) to start the ongoing industrial action.

Customers and visitors were left stranded at some strategic FCTA agencies, like Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB ), Department of Development Control, Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS ) while school teachers and health workers have threatened to join the ongoing strike.

The workers accused the FCT administration of double-standard, stressing that a government that claims to be transparent cannot continue to retain a permanent secretary deployed from the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, in violation of the FCT Civil Service Commission Act, already signed into law three years ago.

They alleged that the serving permanent secretary, Olusade Adesola who was deployed from the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation was occupying an illegal position, hence the Act provides for an FCT Head of Service instead.

FCT JUAC chairman, Matilukoro Korede said the FCT administration had ignored the workers agitation for the implementation of the Act and other issues that border on workers welfare for too long.

Korede noted that the strike was likely going to be indefinite, until the administration implement the Act, emphasising that the refusal to implement the law, has an adverse effect on workers who cannot progress to the peak of their civil service career.

The labour leader said without the implementation of the Act, FCT workers would continue to remain under administrative limitations that would not allow them grow at par with their counterparts in the states.

“It was a huge relief when the National Assembly heeded to the pleas of the staff of the FCT administration, by enacting and passing into law and Gazetted (with the consent of Mr. President and the FCT-Civil Service Commission in 2018.

“This is three years down the line; the big question is why has it been difficult to implement it till? The FCT-Civil Service Commission was created by an Act of parliament, just like the Federal Civil Service Commission and those of the States Civil Service Commission, with primary responsibility of appointment,” Korede said.

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