By Mohammed Mohammed
The Director of Communications, Office of the Head of Service, Mr. AbdulGaniyu Aminu, on Monday refuted media report as misleading and a gross representation on the statement credited to the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, at just concluded meetings of the National Public Service Negotiating Councils which held on Monday 17.
In a statement made available to the media, Aminu, said the attention of the Office has been drawn to misleading news reports as published in the media quoting the HoS, as saying that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Nigeria Medical Associations (NMA) are not recognized Labour Unions in the public service.
According to him, the news report was attributed to the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba and published across media channels.
The Director, said: “While the Office is not accustomed to joining issues with anyone on any matter, it certainly beats logical reasoning that a section of the media or anyone would run amok and attempt to malign the Head of Service.
“Consequently, the Office wish to state unequivocally that the remarks of the HoS were not reported as presented at the event; and that the intentions of the office were grossly misunderstood and placed out of context.”
While refuting, the report, he said it is expedient to clarify that his boss spoke during the separate and joint negotiating meetings of the national public service negotiating councils held on Monday 17 in Abuja.
At that event, at no point did the HoS, make any statement on the subject in contention, and any other reference with regard to her remarks as presented should be completely disregarded, the Director said.
For further clarification, Aminu, said: “The National Public Service Negotiation Council (NPSNC) is a consultative platform for the government and organised labour at the federal and state levels to address issues concerning the welfare and conditions of service of workers in the public service.
“The council is made up of councils I, II and III, which comprise (s) eight public service trade unions that make up the Joint Council.”
He admitted that critical stakeholders like the Salaries and Wages Commission, Trade Union Council and others are members of the Council, explaining that the issue for the Joint Council to discuss the possible membership of both ASUU and NMA in the Joint National public service negotiation council was a proposed item for consideration as their absence was robbing them of the opportunity of participating in the discussion of critical issues before resorting to strike action as a last resort.
In the light of the aforementioned, Aminu, said that it is clear that the HoS did not at any point deny ASUU and NMA of their trade Union status rather she was only making a case for them to be part of the joint national public service negotiating council so as to reap the benefits therefrom.
He added: “Notwithstanding the misguided reports, the Office reiterates its commitment to the welfare of Nigerian Public Servants and will continue to work with all recognized labour unions in the public service.
“In the light of the foregoing, we wish to reaffirm that the HoS and the Office remain focused and undeterred towards ensuring that all matters bordering on the productivity and wellbeing of civil servants are given priority, and will continue to work with all recognized labour unions in the public service.”