NAFDAC Workers Declare Neutrality In Agency’s Crisis
NATIONAL Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) workers under the aegis of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) have come out to declare their neutrality in the ongoing crisis rocking the agency, even as they threatened to resume their suspended strike if their demands are not met.
The declaration is to counter some members of the public who believe that the union members are supporting members of management in the crisis between the management and its former Finance Director, Mr Ademola Mogbojuri. But making clarifying the issue recently during a press conference in Lagos, Chairman of MHWUN, Federal Area Council, Lagos, Mr. Stephen Ibe, said the union is not in any way supporting any of the warring parties.
Ibe called on the Federal Government to ensure that skipping is observed for MHWUN members in NAFDAC, adding that failure to do so would lead to strike in the agency. “I want to inform the public that whatever that is happening in NAFDAC does not concern the union, and the union should be seen as a neutral body.
Union is not in any way supporting any party. Union is there only to fight for the welfare of our members and that is what we are doing. We also request from NAFDAC management, Salaries and Wages Commission, presidency and Federal Ministry of Health the delay about skipping which a competent court has awarded medical and health workers union, including NAFDAC. Till date, other agencies and institutions have been implementing the skipping, but in NAFDAC, it is yet to be implemented.
“By next week, we intend to meet with NAFDAC about skipping and job specific allowance. We have been on this for the past six months, and we are saying that it is the Salaries and Wages Commission that is foot–dragging about implementation and restoration of shortfall in salary against our members in NAFDAC.
“By next week, after meeting with management, if nothing good comes out of the meeting, we may have no option than to resume our strike, which we suspended last time. It is a continuation of the strike, we are not ready to give any notice again, or ultimatum before we start. “We are not demanding these things because of the crisis in NAFDAC.
We started this demand even before the crisis. You may recall that we went on strike last year that lasted for about three weeks. We have been holding meetings with management on this. We have held meeting with permanent secretary, who is a member of NAFDAC board. He also knows our demand. The crisis that is coming now should not be an instrument to stop us from demanding for the welfare of our members.
We will continue because we have started demanding even before the crisis. “If they say it is because of the crisis, then let them implement the skipping of Consolidated Health salary Structure (CONHESS) 10 and implement the job specific allowance. We are not coming out because of the crisis, but to demand for our rights”. On allegation of being bought over by management of NAFDAC, Ibe said: “We can never be bought over by management. Nobody has given us money. Nobody can buy us.
Those reports are false. They are the people that are trying to cause problem between management and the union. We are not afraid of fighting for our members.”