31 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has declared a trade dispute with the Federal Civil Service Commission, FCSC, over the matter over increasing anti-labour practices.
Reports have it that unfair and wield policies are being introduced in the civil service by managers to the detriment of public servants.
The latest trend is that civil senior civil servants are being compelled to sit for promotion examinations in ungodly hours from 12 midnight.
Investigation revealed that often time, the civil servants are invited for promotion examination for 8:00 am which is eventually delayed till 12 mid night before the exam will eventually commence.
Unconfirmed report claimed a female employee lost her life while trying to cross the high way at about 2:00 am after writing the promotion examination held last year in Abuja.
Disturbed by this dangerous trend, ASCSN has declared a trade dispute with the FCSC over the matter, arguing that the fixing of examination at awkward hours would no longer be tolerated.
It contended that the exercise is full of risk to the lives of members particularly in view of the current security situation in the country and noted that promotion examinations and interview must be conducted under conducive atmosphere and time.
Secretary General of the body, Comrade Bashir Alade Lawal who while confirming the development noted that the union had sought for an audience with the Head of Civil Service Commission, Deaconess Ayo Olafoyosi over the current practice.
According to him, “We want to put these issues across to her, so that she will understand that there are problems. Workers are not collecting salaries as at when due, workers are going for promotion interviews at 12 mid night. The other time, one of members, a woman finished her interview at 2:00am and wanted to cross the road, but unfortunately, she was hit by an ongoing vehicle and died on the spot. So, who compensates for that kind of situation?
“We are saying that if there is any need for such interview, it should be concluded between the hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm rather than subjecting workers to unfavourable conditions. There are times, workers travel for one assignment or the other on behalf of government but to pay them their entitled allowances which have already been budgeted becomes difficult, yet some people collect these allowances and spend it and nothing will happen. This culture of impunity in the civil service has eaten so deep into the system.”
Similarly, President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, warned government officials to desist from the practice of conducting promotion examination at awkward hours.
He contended that it was objectionable for civil servants to be summoned to Abuja for examinations at such time, stressing that this type of practice tended to confirm the popular feeling that cultism was becoming an inseparable component of public administration in the country.
“The point must be made that the essence of promotion examination is to bring out the best in workers and that was why the colonial masters that institutionalize the process made sure that such tests were conducted under conducive atmosphere. The question is what does public officers who engage in this type of bizarre activity wish to gain? What type of mindset do they have? “ Kaigama asked.