Workers of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) under the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) on Wednesday embarked on a nationwide strike.
However, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii has threatened to ‘cure the cause of the strike’ by stopping all training programmes for NAFDAC workers as such claims to unpaid allowances emanate from claims from travels for trainings. Declaring an indefinite strike at the premises of the agency in Lagos, the State Chairman, MHWUN, Stephen Ibe directed workers to immediately vacate the premises of the agency. ..continue..
To this end, all NAFDAC offices at the seaports, land ports, airports have been shut indefinitely.
“All other offices of NAFDAC remain closed. It is not a warning strike. It is not JOHESU (strike). Workers can only resume when their 2012 and 2013 salary arrears are paid.
Other demands include payment of first 28 days after employment, travelling allowances, conversion of HND holders, implementation of CONHESS among others.”
The NAFDAC DG had in an earlier occasion said that NAFDAC under his leadership has built the capacity of members through trainings in and outside the country more than any other administration.
“Unfortunately that has become one of my flaws because sometimes I over approve this training opportunities and when workers come back there is usually not enough money to meet their claims immediately. May workers have abused this privilege,” he said.
He explained that in many occasions, workers have come to him to approve training programs for them in different location outside the country and when he tells them there is no money to finance such trainings they will tell say that the training is funded.
Dr Orhii said “It is this same workers that return from such training with claims to unpaid allowances. It is those who have benefitted from such trainings that are now calling for a strike in NAFDAC. They had traveled and have not been paid their allowances.”
“As a father, I want to such problem, I can just cancel all training opportunities both within and outside the country. It is not those who have not traveled or benefitted from such trainings that are calling for strike rather it is those who have traveled that are laying hold to claims and unpaid allowances,” he said.
According to him, a NAFDAC staff should have a general idea of many things through such trainings “but that has become irresponsibility on my part and I am going to cure it.”