The workers’ unions in NIPOST have expressed concern on the proposed reform in the telecommunication agency, describing the imminent exercise as an “affront” against the laws of the country, as well as the organization’s Act.
The Unions have therefore called on Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), the Director-General of BPE, the Chairperson, NIPOST Governing Board, the Postmaster-General/CEO and others involved in this reform process to suspend the take-off of the subsidiaries.
Consequently, they called for critical assessment of their concerns, with a view to addressing the anomalies.
The Unions expressed their displeasure at a joint press conference on proposed take-off of NIPOST Properties and Development company Limited and NIPOST Transport and Logistics Services Limited.
“The so-called NIPOST reform is an affront against the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, especially the NIPOST Act.
“That the structure and process of the reform are not in any way in tandem with a reform of this nature as witnessed in other sectors that have undergone similar reforms, as this process is clearly an attempt to kill and bury the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) and throw our members into the labour market.
“That NIPOST in the last 15 years has not been receiving any form of capital funding from the Federal Government and instead of releasing funds to strengthen this critical national infrastructure of government, funds are being diverted to the subsidiaries, which are being run and managed by a few individuals for their self-gains” the Unions alleged.
The workers’ bodies noted while they are not opposed to reforms, still, they strongly insisted that reforms are meant to strengthen institutions for higher productivity so as to meet up with deliverables as set out in the enabling law. We shall vehemently resist any attempt at weakening further the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
They acknowledged: “We are aware that the BPE is already engaging consultants to privately go around the country to audit NIPOST assets instead of the team constituted by the Honourable Minister.”
While maintaining their stand, the Unions reiterated their commitment to the advancement of the course of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) and the welfare of their teeming members nationwide.
Earlier, the Unions listed their concerns; which included the composition of the Board of Directors of the companies, allegedly showed that NIPOST as an entity has no influence or stake in these subsidiaries.
Others, they stated “Section C of the objects for which the NIPOST Properties & Development Company Limited is established clearly states that the Company can SELL, lease or exchange the assets of NIPOST, a provision that empowers the company to sell off NIPOST assets if they so desire.
“The proposed plan by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) to share/hand over NIPOST properties to these companies is not necessary, as there is no basis for asset sharing since the said subsidiaries are owned by NIPOST as claimed by BPE.
“The recruitment of Management staff of these companies was carried out without considering the current Management staff of NIPOST who are experienced in this sector and this Management is a separate entity from NIPOST Management as it neither report to the PMG nor form part of NIPOST top Management.
“That the salaries of the Management staff of these Companies far outweigh the salaries of top Management of NIPOST, a disparity that is alarming, whereas the mid-level staff of these companies are placed on the NIPOST condition of service and salary.
The Honourable Minister, BPE and all those involved in this reform process have not made available any document or blueprint on the implementation plan of this process.
“The shareholdings of these Companies as shown on CAC registration document are individuals, which raises a strong concern on whether or not NIPOST is actually the owner of the companies as claimed by BPE and there is no caveat anywhere stating that these individuals are holding the shares in trust for NIPOST”.
The Unions recalled that they had on several occasions presented their position, stressing that the reform process was marred with fraud and irregularities, still, alleged that they were ignored.