October 26, 2021

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El-Rufai: What I told Buhari on rightsizing, NLC strike

Governor Nasir El-Rufai Kaduna State,  on Monday, said he had briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on his administration’s rightsizing policy, which put him at loggerheads with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

El-Rufai also clarified that the Kaduna State Executive Council had not approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by government representatives at the May 20th conciliation meeting with the NLC.

He said government representatives had made it clear at the meeting that whatever they signed required the approval of the State Executive Council, adding that he had informed the Federal Minister of Labour on the position.

A statement issued by Governor El-Rufai’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye stated that it would seek accountability for NLC’s actions in the state by setting up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the May 2021 strike action.

“It is trite that an MoU is not a legally binding document. The content of the MoU shows that there is no congruence between the progressive aspirations of the Kaduna State Government and the misguided sense of entitlement of the NLC which does not even believe in equality amongst its own members,” it stated.

The statement added that El-Rufai had assured President Buhari that his administration was determined not to allow a repeat of the “pains, economic losses and the restraints of freedom that the NLC inflicted on the people of Kaduna State”, adding that it is hiring “over 10,000 staff because rightsizing obliges the government to continuously recruit teachers, doctors, nurses and other qualified staff to provide vital services.”

Speaking on NLC’s renewed threat of strike action, the governor said the union had demonstrated that it did not believe in equality among its own members by describing the transfer of one of the government’s employees to a place where other civil servants were serving as victimisation.

“KDSG employees are serving with dedication in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area, amidst all the challenges. Yet, the NLC describes the transfer of one KDSG employee to Birnin-Gwari LGA as victimisation, as if other staff who have been loyally serving in the same area are lesser humans or permanent victims.

“KDSG rejects this unfair denigration of the very people that the transferred employee claims to lead,” it stated.

He said the state government has not yet disengaged any state civil servant but had dispensed with the services of 99 political appointees so far, adding that “only the 23 local government councils and the agencies associated with the local government system such as SUBEB and the Primary Health Care Board have released staff.”