By Victor Young
Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, on Monday, condemned the decision of the Federal Government to commence merging some Ministries, Departments, and Agencies MDAs, and scrapping others.
The union said the move will throw thousands of public workers into unemployment market.
ASCSN, in a statement in Lagos by its Secretary-General, Alade Lawal, expressed shock that government chose a time when the world was mourning the death of thousands of people being killed daily by COVID-19 to implement the Steve Oronsaye Report, which recommended the merging of some MDAs and the scrapping of others.
The statement read: “The reality is that if some MDAs are merged and others scrapped, thousands of public servants will surely lose their jobs. We cannot understand the logic behind government’s decision at this material time, when Nigerians are losing their loved ones while thousands of others are being afflicted by coronavirus.
“The impression created before the public since this news broke out is that the government has no empathy and is insensitive to the suffering of millions of Nigerians.
“Nigeria is already rated the poorest country in the world and if government carries out its plan to throw thousands of workers to the streets at this material time, it will lead to monumental social crisis the end result of which no one could predict.
“All over the world, governments of various countries including those in Africa are providing financial stimulus even to private sector players to stimulate their economies, while citizens are being paid some money to enable them survive the vagaries of COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are not doing that. All we are interested in is to heap more sufferings and miseries on the people.
“With billions of naira donated by some good-spirited wealthy Nigerians and international donors, the least we expect the government to do is to use such funds to upgrade medical facilities and inject others into welfare packages for Nigerians.
“But instead of doing that, government is preoccupied with devising strategies to sack thousands of workers in the name of restructuring the MDAs. This is very unfortunate and unacceptable.
“The question is what moral ground the government will be relying on to persuade the private sector not to retrench its workers using COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse?
“ASCSN begs President Muhammadu Buhari to direct relevant organs of government plotting to implement the Oronsaye Report to desist forthwith so as not to trigger off industrial and social unrest in the country at this critical period in our history.
“We believe there may be fifth columnist in the government pushing for the implementation of the Oronsaye Report to mislead Mr. President to enter into a collision course with millions of Nigerian workers and thereby disrupt the prevailing cordial relations existing between his administration and the labour movement.
“If government proceeds to carry out this punitive policy against Nigerian workers, its name will certainly be recorded in the wrong side of history when the story of COVID-19 pandemic is written.
“This is why we implore government to retrace its steps now and do the right thing realising that the main reason why it exists in the first instance is to guarantee the welfare of citizens by increasing their pleasure and decreasing their pain.
“ASCSN urges the labour unions, civil society groups, religious leaders, traditional rulers, eminent citizens, etc, to prevail on the government to put a halt to the ill-advised policy in the interest of industrial peace and harmony. The time to implement the Oronsaye Report is definitely not now.”