The ongoing registration of Nigerians for the national identity card on Thursday suffered a setback as the workers of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) embarked on strike.
The strike was called by the unions to the exposure of workers to COVID-19, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in promotion and poor funding of the organization to enable it to deliver on its mandate.
As a result of the strike, thousands of applicants were locked out of the NIMC offices across the country.
Both the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael, and the Secretary, Odia Victor announced the strike in a statement.
“Consequent upon the just concluded congress of the above mentioned association that took place on January 6, 2020, the unit executive directs all members of grade level 12 and below in the head office and state offices to report to their respective duty posts tomorrow January 7, 2020 and do nothing.
“All members at the local government offices and special centres are advised to stay away from their various centres as task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance to the directive,” Persecondnews quotes the unions as directing the workers.
In December 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission had directed all telecommunications companies to disconnect the SIM cards of all subscribers who have not integrated their National Identity Numbers with their SIMs at the end of January 2021.
To date, more than 130 million Nigerians are without National Identity Number and have been massing daily at NIMC offices across the country to get registered in breach of the COVID-19 protocols.
A communiqué issued at the end of the congress of the ACCSN, NIMC branch, said the strike had become imperative following the continued exposure of staff to COVID-19, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in promotion and poor funding of the organization by the Federal Goverment.
The workers are also demanding payment of overtime and adequate tools to work with.
“Staff members were infected with COVID-19 and adequate measures have not been taken to curtail the spread. The meeting resolved that safety of staff should be prioritised.
” Furthermore the office environment should be fumigated immediately.
“The congress agreed that the NIMC staff salary structure approved by the Federal Government vide Presidential assent be implemented in the personnel appropriation of the 2021 annual budget effective January 2021.
“That the lopsided and irregular promotion done in 2017 and 2020 be reviewed, regularised and gazetted in accordance with public service rules,” the statement said.