Reacting to allegations levelled against the leadership of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) on Thursday, the Executive Secretary, Yewande Sadiku, insists that the welfare of workers has been taken seriously within the limits of available resources.
The agency’s chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) had embarked on a protest at the Abuja office and called for the sack of the executive secretary.
In a statement shared with HumAngle, however, Sadiku described the industrial action as “unexpected” but did not comment on most of the allegations including that she spent N400 million on unproductive foreign trips in three years.
“Management wishes to put on record that it has always made staff welfare and development a priority. Major welfare improvements were initiated by Management without being prompted, to stimulate productivity and ensure staff job satisfaction,” she said.
“The improvements include the introduction of a Productivity Allowance that rewards staff when budget targets are met, a Post Service Benefit Scheme to provide for those who retire or leave after many years of service, a Staff Housing Loan Scheme that can help with homeownership, a Group Life Insurance Policy that will support families of any staff we lose, and many others.”
These improvements, she added, are in addition to the constant payment of salaries by the Federal Government. She further noted that expenditures on staff welfare grew from N28.5 million and 5.9 per cent of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2016 to N500 million and 45.5 per cent of IGR in 2020.
“Despite the disruptions to work schedules due to COVID-19 and only a partial resumption of work by all government agencies from May, Management has been faithfully implementing the terms of an agreement reached with the Union in late February,” she continued.
“The approval of the NIPC Governing Council was secured on 24 June for the final items. As required by government policies for allowances created by the Governing Council, final clearance from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission is being vigorously pursued.”
She explained that a member of the Governing Council got an ex parte court order in December 2019 that stopped the commission from spending its IGR and, while the order lasted, it was unable to fund welfare items often paid for through the revenue.
The order also caused the NIPC’s power supply to be disconnected because of the non-payment of electricity bills. It could not buy diesel to power generators and pay the salaries of outsourced service providers, the executive secretary said.
Sadiku said the NIPC management is committed to “building a commission that is motivated to achieving the goals and objectives of its establishment”.
“We will continue to dialogue with the Union to resolve their concerns,” she concluded.