Joint Unions in Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), on Friday, kicked against a pronouncement by the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, referring to some nominated members of the agency’s Board as ‘executive board members’.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), and Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), disclosed their opposition to the development in a letter they addressed to Akpabio.
It will be recalled that the Senate President had on Wednesday announced the constitution of a new Board for FERMA, but, however, referred to some of the members as executive Board members, as against the usual members of the Board as enshrined in the establishment law of the agency.
The protest letter, jointly signed by ASCSN chairman, Paul Onimisi, and AUPCTRE chairman, Abdulmumin Idris, described such a pronouncement by the Senate President as discouraging and demoralising to the staff of the agency.
“The appointment of some members as executive board members to eventually take over the running of the departments is contrary to FERMA Act and detrimental to the career progression of the employees of the agency, it will not serve the agency any good in achieving its mandate.
“The appointment of some persons as executive board members is contrary to the provisions of Section 2(2) of the FERMA Act as amended and career progression within government agencies,” the Labour unions said.
The Unions stated that it was counter-productive and demoralising for career officers as the intention was for the executive Board members to take over from career officers who are heads of departments in the agency.
They, therefore, urged the Senate President to confirm the appointment of members of the Board in accordance with the Act that created the Board.
“To do otherwise is to usher in a chain of events that will disrupt the structure of the Agency, derail its mandate and demoralise the workers,” the unions maintained.
The unions’ executives said the direct consequence of making some members of the Board executive members to head departments is to derail the agency because workers would not support it.
The union leaders emphasised that particular adverse result of the contraption of making some board members executive members was the creation of a board within a board.
They added that such would drive the agency in contra-direction in terms or its mandate.
“The agency and its members of staff are peacefully working towards the achievement of its mandate in their service to the nation.
“An urgent clarion call is hereby made for the immediate reversal of this illegality to forestall looming anarchy this contraption may cause,” the unions stated in the letter aimed at drawing President Bola Tinubu’s attention to the anomaly.
“In line with Mr President’s Renewed Hope agenda, it is our lawful demand that the appointees be confirmed as board members, not executive board members,” they stated.