The Presidency, House of Representative Committee on Emergency, Preparedness and Disaster Management of the National Assembly (NASS) have risen to douse the tension that has been building up in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), leading to workers strike.
The House of Representative Committee has actually commenced investigation into the allegation of high-handedness, maladministration and corruption against the new Director General of the Agency, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja.
In an official letter addressed to the Management of NEMA as well as Staff Union, the Clerk of the Committee, Sulyman Mohammed Sarkin-Noma, said: “sequel to the industrial action embarked upon by the staff, the Committee resolved to convey a meeting with the DG NEMA, Management team and the representative of the workforce on Monday October 23, 2017  at NASS Complex.”
This was even the Office of the Vice President is said to have ordered Maihaja to enter into negotiations with the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria(ASCSN) in conjunction with the Minister of Labour and Employment.
Consequent upon the intervention of the Presidency towards controlling bad image to the government over the strike, a meeting was said to have been held at the behest of the Labour Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Bolaji Adebiyi.
A memorandum of Terms of agreement at the end of the meeting was signed and endorsed by NEMA DG himself, Engr Maihaja; Legal Adviser Umar Mohammed, Representative of ASCSN Comrade Isaac Ojemhenke and NEMA Labour Chairman, Comrade Saad Bello.
In the memorandum, the parties agreed to set up an implementation committee comprising the Union, NEMA management to be chaired by the Director of Finance at the Labour Ministry to facilitate the verification and commencement of staff claims by Tuesday, October 24, 2017.
It was also agreed that NEMA management should work with the union to conclude the process of acquiring the Assurance Policy for the staff within one week and come up with a compensation package for the families of deceased staff in line with the provisions of the public service rules.
On the DG’s refusal to carry out staff training and manpower development, it was again agreed that a training schedule using the existing template be drawn to accommodate all the staff and training needs of all departments within two weeks and report monitoring and compliance.
On the vindictive posting of the Unit Vice Chairman and Treasurer respectively, the DG was ordered to issue recall letters latest by October 20th, 2017 unfailingly, adding that no member of the Association shall be victimized as a result of the industrial action.
Other issues that were trashed out at the meeting include hazard allowance, separation of women from their families, proper placement and promotion.
The new agreement came as a result of the un-cooperative attitude and alleged dictatorial tendencies of the new DG NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Maijhaja on the legitimate entitlements of staff which necessitated the indefinite nationwide strike last week where all NEMA offices across the Federation were shut down before the Vice President’s intervention.
Some of the placards pasted at the gates of NEMA offices during the strike read “Mustapha Maihaja must go,” “Mustapha we are tired of your nonchalant attitude to our plight, pay our claims or resign, enough is enough,” “Stop Award of contract without due process,” “Maihaja is an electrician, we are humanitarian,” “Maihaja is inexperienced and a disaster” among others. [myad]