The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) has expressed its readiness to resist any attempt or actions that may further weaken the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) and cause Nigerian workers to lose their jobs.
SSASCGOC also warned that it would not guarantee industrial peace in the sector should it discover that the ongoing commercialisation of NIPOST is a guise to privatise the agency.
It further promised to make public any act of corruption and anomalies in the ongoing process, even as it hinted that there are indications that friends and cronies of some government officials are being allocated shares of the newly created subsidiaries. It therefore demanded that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy should ensure due process.
Contained in its response to a letter dated August 15, 2022 from the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, the union gave the Minister a 14-days window of opportunity to attend to its demands.
It also urged the Minister to collaborate with the union to find a peaceful resolution to the issues it raised in the interest of industrial harmony.
Signed by its General Secretary, Comrade (Dr) Ayo Olorunfemi, the letter was titled, ‘Reorganised and Systematic Preparation for Burial Ceremony of Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST): Save our Soul.’
The letter read, “While we are not opposed to reforms, we strongly insist that reforms are meant to strengthen institutions for higher productivity so as to meet up with deliverables as set out in the enabling law. We shall resist any attempt at weakening further the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST).
“The creation of subsidiaries in NIPOST is a welcome idea for repositioning and institutional strengthening. Therefore, any attempt at sharing the properties of NIPOSIT or creating separate Board(s) for such subsidiaries will be counterproductive and shall be resisted with all our trade union powers.
“The Chief Executives of the newly created subsidiaries should be part of the top management of NIPOST and should report directly to the board of NIPOST accordingly. There shall be no basis for asset sharing since the NlPOST remains the owner of the newly created subsidiaries.
“We are aware and ready to put in the public domain that individuals who are close to this administration have shares in the newly created subsidiaries which is a pointer to the lies that NIPOST was going through commercialisation and not privatisation.
“We are equally aware that close to 10 billion is being worked out from the coffer of the Federal Government to be “injected” into the newly created subsidiaries. This, to us, is another conduit pipe to continue with the ongoing corruption in government.
“Such an amount should be injected into the NIPOST since NIPOST had never enjoyed any capital budget for over 10 years. NIPOST as a social service agency had not been assisted for over 10 years in terms of funding. When this is corrected, we can comfortably believe that this administration truly means well for NIPOST.
“The meeting referred to in your letter was not at the instance of our branch or national body of SSASCGOC. To the best of our knowledge, issues attended to in that meeting were raised by a sister union. Therefore SSASCGOC cannot be said to have been represented. On any matter to which the national body of SSASCGOC is involved, its branches have no mandate to represent the union unless it is expressly permitted to do so.
“We are not unaware of the low ebb the NIPOST has become due to financial constraint. The welfare of the staff is akin to zero leading to absolute lack of motivation on the part of staff. We believe that these anomalies are reasons the government seeks to reform and reposition the NlPOST as an international phenomenon which it is. If this is true, reform or a true commercialisation should be done with all the stakeholders including the union.
“In view of all the above, the Minister should note that this union which controls over 90 per cent of the workforce in NIPOST shall not fold its hands while actions that may lead to job loss and systematic extinction of NIPOST are being contemplated by the authorities.
“To this end, the Minister should please, consider a technical session with the leadership of this union with a view to arriving at a consensus over all the issues raised above.
“We respectfully request for the meeting as soon as possible within the next 14 days from the date of receipt of this letter. Failure of which, this union should not be held responsible for breach in industrial peace in the organisation.
“We equally sincerely warn that no step should be taken towards any form of asset sharing or allocations of funds from the Ministry of Finance into any of the newly created subsidiaries until all the matters raised have been resolved.”
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