Union appeals to Wike over staff housing problems

GodGift Ifunanya
4 Min Read

Workers of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC), on Wednesday, April 17, appealed to the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, to make staff housing one of his projects.

The workers appealed the commencement of the JUAC Week in Abuja, with the theme, “FCT Civil Service Commission – A New Dawn.”

JUAC president, Rifkatu Iortyer pointed out that Abuja was one of the cities with the highest rent in the country.

Iortyer added that the development had forced many workers to stay on the outskirts of the city, where rent was affordable.

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She said to address the challenge, JUAC had secured land eight years ago, for staff housing estate.

She, however, said that the union was financially incapacitated to allocate the land to the workers, despite paying compensation and other commitments.

Lortyer explained that the union had equally made some moves for additional housing for the workers but were unsuccessful.

She said: “We appealed to the minister to consider our plea considering that housing is key to our staff. If we cannot do it as a union, let the housing issue be one of our minister’s projects.

“He should help us to have an affordable housing estate for our staff. We know him as Mr Project, as evident with the ongoing projects across the territory.”

The president also appealed to the minister to look into the transportation scheme for workers, noting that most of the staff buses have been grounded since the COVID-19 lockdown.

She commended the minister for being labor-friendly and a welfarist to workers, adding that the biggest gift to the FCT workers was the FCT Civil Service Commission (CSC).

FCT staff can now grow to the peak of their career. We cannot thank him enough for making this a reality,” she said.

Also, the FCT Head of Service, Dr Udo Atang, described Wike as a labor-friendly minister, stressing that he has made staff welfare his priority.

Atang said: “The minister had said that the establishment of FCT CSC is an integral part of President Bola Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope.

So, our hopes have been renewed and re-established. We are all potential permanent secretaries and potential heads of service.”

Responding, Wike, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Chidi Amadi, ascribed the successes so far recorded in FCT to the resourcefulness of the workers.

He said: “Today, we are celebrating a new beginning. A new beginning that gives hope; a new beginning that gives motivation; a new beginning that gives us the assurance that whatever commitment and sacrifice we put in the service, there is the likelihood that it will be rewarded.”

The minister lauded the collaborative efforts of the workers for a common goal and advised the leadership of the JUAC to build a culture of negotiation and not confrontation.

He said: “Collaboration should be the watchword. As long as we continue to have this seamless relationship, I will ensure that no worker will be left behind.”

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