Akpabio faces criticism from labour unions over FERMA board announcement

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Joint unions in Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), have kicked against the announcement by Sen. Godswill Akpabio, the President of the Senate, referring to some members of the agency’s board 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) made their position known in a letter addressed to Akpabio on Thursday and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

It will be recalled that Akpabio had on Wednesday announced the constitution of a new board for FERMA, but referred to some of the members as executive board members, as against the usual members of the board.

The letter, jointly signed by Mr Paul Onimisi, ASCSN Chairman and Mr Abdulmumin Idris, AUPCTRE Chairman, described the announcement by the senate president as discouraging and demoralising to the staff of the agency.

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“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.

“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 maintained.

The unions’ executives said the direct consequence of making some members of the board executive members to head departments was to derail the agency because workers would not support it.

The union leaders emphasised that particular adverse result of the contraption of making some board members executive board members was the creation of a board within a board.

They added that such would drive the agency in contra-direction in terms or its mandate.

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

“An urgent clarion call is hereby made for the immediate reversal of this illegality to forestall looming anarchy this contraption may cause,” the unions stated in the letter aimed at drawing President Bola Tinubu’s attention to the anomaly.

“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,” the joint unions threatened.

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