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Though the staff of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) last Friday, January 8, suspended the industrial action; which started on Thursday over the fear of COVID-19 spread in the agency, it has become imperative to raise critical questions for the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ali Pantami.
Some of these questions include as follows;
- Was the capacity of NIMC staff on NIN registration upgraded ahead of the sudden exercise?
- Was NIMC infrastructure capacity upgraded before the exercise too?
- Did the Minister address the funding stress in the agency as raised by the DG, Mr Alice Aziz before now?
- Why didn’t the Minister empower the DG to clear over 15 years promotion arrears before now?
- Mid last year, the World Bank gave NIMC millions of dollars for capacity upgrade. What has happened to the fund?
- Did the Minister know that with the current capacity of NIMC, it can only process not more than two to three million NIN in a year before giving the sim disconnection deadline?
- but not the least, where are the locations of the announced 174 NIN registration agents across the country?
Business Hilights weekend gathered that NIMC workers decided to halt the strike action after a meeting with the Federal Government; where it was agreed that their demands would be addressed.
The President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC Unit, Asekokhai Lucky, confirmed the suspension of the strike in Abuja.
He said workers of the Commission across the country were being contacted to resume work by Monday; and begin the enrolment of citizens for National Identity Numbers.
It was reported earlier that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) officials across the country on Thursday, January 7, began a strike action over the fear of COVID-19 spread in the agency.
This was contained in a statement issued by the President of the Association of the Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC unit, Asekokhai Lucky, in an interview in Abuja.
According to him, the virus had been detected in three officials of the agency at its headquarters.
He said the workers were concerned because the management of the NIMC was aware of the development; but kept it from workers, who could have taken necessary precautions to protect themselves.
Lucky also said the workers would meet with the government on Friday to discuss the COVID-19 scare and other issues that led to the strike.
He also revealed what angered the workers was that the government was aware that three employees of the NIMC had been infected; and that others were at the risk of contracting the virus, but kept quiet.
He stated, “Three workers of the NIMC have contracted COVID-19; because in our recent meeting a member of staff actually testified to it.
“The minute of that meeting captured it, as three persons are down with COVID-19. Some of us actually thought those guys were on leave. It was cleared yesterday (Wednesday) that they were treating themselves in isolation centres.”