Medical and Health Workers Union chapter of National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, on Friday embarked on indefinite strike, demanding improved welfare.
The union wants the management to implement agreed welfare package entered in 2013.
It was also demanding immediate retirement of the agency’s acting Director General, Yetunde Oni. The union said it wants Mrs. Oni to hand over to the immediate senior officer before the appointment of a substantive director-general.
Idu Isua, the vice chairman of the union, while addressing members, said the union signed an agreement with the management and the Minister of Health to review its welfare package in 2013, but the demands were yet to be met.
According to him, the Minister of Health and NAFDAC management, along with Wages and Salaries Commission, agreed to review members pay upward after they embarked on strike to press home their demand in 2013.
He said “we resolved that funds be drawn from our Internally Generated Revenue to finance the upward reviewed package of staff but to our greatest surprise, nothing was done since then.
“When we came on board as union in 2013, we took a look at the allowances of staff and discovered it was low compared with other agencies that we enjoy same salary scale with.”
Mr. Isua said the union complained to Ministry of Health and took it up with management “but up till today, nothing has been done.”
The union vice chairman said “the strike was not a fresh one because we took same action
two years ago and last year and based on agreement reached, the strike was suspended.
“However, nothing was done on our salary review up till now.”
Mr. Isua also said that Mrs. Oni, who had been acting as director-general of the agency was due for retirement on September 21, having attained 60 years of age “but was currently not in the country.”
The civil service rule stated that whoever stays in service for either 60 years of age or 35 years in service must retire.
“She was 60 years yesterday (Sept. 21, 2017); she must go; these are our grievances.”
Meanwhile, when the News Agency of Nigeria made effort to reach the management, a director who refused to give his name said the union was at liberty to express its grievances.
The director said he believed Mrs. Oni; the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole; and the Federal Government would address the issues raised by the union.