Civil service union shuts Centre over youth minister’s interference

The Nigerian Civil Service Union, Monday, shutdown the entrance to the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (CLTC) Headquarters, Gomwalk Street, Gudu District, Abuja, over attempt by the Minister for Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare, to impose a new director general in place of Mr Remi Sola Phillips, who the Minister earlier appointed in acting capacity.

The workers of the centre and their union leaders had since July this year resisted attempt by Mr. Soji Eniade, to resume duty as the director general of the centre on grounds that the minister breached the provisions of a federal government circular issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, directing that in appointing heads of agencies of government consideration should be given to the career progression of existing management staff.

However, the leadership and members of the Nigerian Civil Service Union arrived in their numbers to CLTC Headquarters early on Monday morning and closed the entrance to the offices.

The union members, who were brandishing placards with inscriptions demanding the confirmation of Phillips, said they would never back-down on their action, no matter how long it would take.

Speaking on their action, the Vice Chairman of the Union, Comrade Degiri Issa Usman, said the minister of youth and sport erred by not confirming Mr Philips as the director-general of the training centre.
“You want to know why we are doing what we are doing now. There is a circular issued by the federal government of Nigeria, reference number SGF 19/S – 47/V 11/599 dated June 24 2012. It has been circulated to all government parastatals, yours inclusive.

“The heading of the circular is the procedure for appointing chief executives and head of parastatals, government-owned companies, agencies and institutions. I go to where it’s applicable to our case. Paragraph three reads, in furtherance of these principles, the president of the federation has directed that all supervising ministers and present officers of ministries, departments and agencies should further be reminded of the following guidelines; All appointments into vacant positions of chief executives parastatals, government-owned companies, agencies and institutions must be guided by the various laws establishing them.
“Such appointment should be without prejudice to eligible serving officers competing for this position, it must be based on strict adherence to Justice, equity and fair play.

“To ensure stability and continuity, and improvement of staff morale. In continuation, such officers should be encouraged to aspire to top positions of their establishment through executive career development and succession planning.

“The writer of this circular and the spirits ordained therein is to encourage the continuous smooth movement of the establishment and to also boost the morale and the loyalty of staff hoping that one day, they will reach the top” he stated.
He called on the minister and the Board of CLTC to do the needful in order not to prolong the crisis.

Also speaking to journalists, a member of the Board of Directors of CLTC, Dr Gloria Lalaba Shoda, who was there during the protest, revealed that the minister has sent a message for an emergency meeting on the matter, noting that decision would be conveyed to the workers on the way forward.

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