Labour unions tackle Akpabio for announcing FERMA nominees as 'executive board members'


Labour unions have tackled Godswill Akpabio, senate president, for announcing nominees of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) as "executive board members".

Akpabio on Wednesday, while reading a letter President Bola Tinubu sent to the senate seeking confirmation of nominees for a new FERMA board, announced some of the nominees as executive board members.

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), and Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), described the announcement by the senate president as discouraging and demoralising to the staff of FERMA.

Their letter of disapproval was jointly signed by Paul Onimisi and Abdulmumin Idris, respective chairpersons of the unions.

"The appointment of some members as executive board members to eventually take over the running of the departments is contrary to FERMA Act and detrimental to the career progression of the employees of the agency," the letter reads.

"It will not serve the agency any good in achieving its mandate.

"The appointment of some persons as executive board members is contrary to the provisions of Section 2(2) of the FERMA Act as amended and career progression within government agencies.

"It is counter productive and demoralising for career officers as the intention is for the executive board members to take over from career officers who are running departments.

"We urge you respectfully, distinguished Senate President, to confirm the appointment of members of the board in accordance with the Act that created the board.

"To do otherwise is to usher in a chain of events that will disrupt the structure of the agency, derail its mandate and demoralise the workers."

The unions also called for a reversal of the announcement.

"The agency and its members of staff are peacefully working towards the achievement of its mandate in their service to the nation," the letter reads.

"An urgent clarion call is hereby made for the immediate reversal of this illegality to forestall looming anarchy this contraption may cause.

"In line with Mr. President's renewed hope agenda, it is our lawful demand that the appointees be confirmed as board members not executive board members.

"Any contrary action to the provisions of the FERMA (Establishment Act 2002) as amended will be resisted."

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