—Alleges embezzlement of N2bn, administration by mgt
–No such money was embezzled says mgt

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE Association of Senior Civil Servants Of Nigeria, Monday protested and picket the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, over the alleged disappearance of N2 billion from the commission’s treasury.

The labour union also accused the management of maladministration and introducing unfriendly policies.

But in a swift reaction, the management has denied allegations of embezzlement, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has zero-tolerance for corruption.

The management through its Head, Public Affairs, Magnus Ekechukwu wondered how N2 billion could be embezzled in this era of Treasury Single Account, TSA, adding that anyone that indulges in any form of corrupt practices will face the consequences.

The management also said that the issue of maladministration as alleged does not exist under the supervision of Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, the Director-General of NLRC.

Ekechukwu further said that the management has in the past five months started payment of the Pecularity allowance of 20 percent of basic salary as negotiated with the workers.

He also said that the present management did not meet conditions of service when it came on board, adding that it has already started work on that and that the clean copy of the document specifying the conditions of service would soon be ready.

The workers had as early as 8:00 am, blocked the headquarters of the Commission located at the Jabi area of Abuja, the nation’s Federal Capital Territory, thereby preventing the management and staff from gaining entry into the building.

They accused the Managing Director of clamping down on members of staff, who allegedly opposed highhandedness, corruption, and anti-workers policies.

Speaking at the protest, Comrade Anastasia Ojogu, branch Secretary of the Union said the action was intended to change certain policies considered to be against the interest of workers and Nigeria at large.

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The workers also accused the NLRC boss of nonpayment of arrears, allowances, thwarting promotions, as well as indulging in divide-and-rule tactics, arbitrary transfer of workers, intimidation of workers opposed to corruption among many others.

Comrade Ajogun alleged that Gbajamiala recently dismissed two directors without adherence to disciplinary procedures clearly stated in the Public Service Rules (PSR)

She said the picketing was principally informed by the alleged deliberate refusal of the NLRC’s Director-General to sign and implement the agreement reached with the workers

She listed some conditions that should be followed for a peaceful return of industrial harmony in NLRC

She said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC should expedite investigation and prosecution of officers involved in corruption malpractice in NLRC

Other conditions are the signing of the collective agreement reached between staff and management of the commission, approval of conditions of service, immediate implementation of Peculiarity Allowance, and payment of arrears

Stop the constant blockage of vacant positions by staff from other agencies, adherence to public service rules, seniority in the workplace should be sacrosanct.

Due Process in disciplinary actions and not the setting up of a witch-hunting committee set up solely for victimization.

The workers said that the management should stop the alleged victimization of whistleblowers or innocent staff.

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