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Wike calms protesting staff of education ministry

27 November 2013, 17:26

Abuja - The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, has assured senior workers in the ministry of his resolve  to address the welfare challenges facing them  since 2007.

Wike, who addressed the placard-carrying workers in Abuja on Tuesday, said he received the letter about their plight only on Monday.

"On receiving the letter, I immediately directed the Permanent Secretary of the ministry to address the issues raised by the workers.’’

The minister stated that the workers, as senior civil servants, should know that he had no direct dealing with the issue of promotion arrears.

He explained that the matter was directly under the purview of the ministry's management headed by the permanent secretary.

"I am addressing you here out of respect for our workers. I received your letter yesterday and immediately directed that action be taken by the permanent secretary and the ministry's management.

"I only got to know about your plight and I will work hard to ensure that the management takes care of all your entitlements.’’

The staff members were joined by some of their colleagues from other ministries during the protest.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workers, who were demanding the removal of the minister and the permanent secretary, Dr McJohn Nwaobiala, had barricaded the entrance to the ministry.

They are demanding the payment of their promotion allowances since 2007, "for which about N900 million has been released."

The Secretary, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Isaac Ojemhenka gave a six-day ultimatum for their demands to be met.

Ojemhenka said their grievances should be addressed before Monday, December 2, "or we will be forced to take more drastic steps."

He said the permanent secretary had not been accessible to the workers and had not been relating well with them.

-  NAN


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