SSASCGOC issues 14-day ultimatum to Communications Minister

The Association of Senior Executives of Statutory and State-Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) has given the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, two weeks to stop further actions that could weaken the Nigerian Postal Services ( NIPOST) or face industrial action.

In a statement by SSASCGOC General Secretary, Comrade Ayo Olorunfemi, the union pledged to resist any policy that would lead to Nigerian workers losing their jobs.

The association said it would not guarantee industrial peace in the sector if it found out that the ongoing commercialization of NIPOST was a plan to privatize the agency.

He further promised to publicize any acts of corruption and any anomalies in the ongoing process, although he hinted that there were indications that friends and cronies of some government officials were being assigned shares of newly created subsidiaries.

He therefore demanded that the Minister ensure due process.

In its response to a letter No. HMC/026/GEN/VII dated August 15, 2022 from the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, the group urged the Minister to work with the union to find peaceful solutions to the problems raised in the interest of industrial harmony.

The letter titled: “Reorganized and Systematic Preparation for the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) Burial Ceremony: Save Our Souls,” reads; “I am writing to you very respectfully to acknowledge receipt of your letter #HMC/026/GEN/VII dated August 15, 2022 and to reiterate our position as follows.

“While we are not opposed to the reforms, we strongly insist that the reforms aim to strengthen institutions for higher productivity to meet the deliverables set out in the enabling law. We will resist any attempt to further weaken the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

“The creation of subsidiaries within NIPOST is a good idea for repositioning and institutional strengthening. Therefore, any attempt to split NIPOSIT properties or create separate Boards for these subsidiaries will be counterproductive and will have to be fought with all our union powers.

“General Managers of newly created subsidiaries should be part of NIPOST’s senior management and should report directly to the NIPOST Board of Directors accordingly. There will be no basis for asset sharing as NlPOST retains ownership of the newly created subsidiaries.

“We are aware and ready to put in the public domain that people close to this administration hold shares in the newly created subsidiaries, which points to the lies that NIPOST was going through commercialization and not privatization.

“We are also aware that nearly ten billion are being taken from the coffers of the federal government to be “injected” into the newly created subsidiaries. For us, this is another conduit to continue with the ongoing corruption in government. This amount should be injected into the NIPOST since the NIPOST has never benefited from an investment budget for more than 10 years. NIPOST, as a social service agency, had not received financial assistance for more than 10 years. When this is corrected, we can comfortably believe that this administration meant really well for NIPOST.

“The meeting mentioned in your letter was not organized at the request of our chapter or the SSASCGOC national body. To our knowledge, the issues discussed at this meeting were raised by a sister union. It cannot therefore be said that the SSASCGOC was represented. On any matter in which the SSASCGOC national body is involved, its branches have no mandate to represent the union unless expressly authorized to do so.

“We are not unaware of the bottoming out that NIPOST has become due to financial constraints. Staff well-being is close to zero, resulting in an absolute lack of staff motivation. We believe that these anomalies are reasons; the government is seeking to reform and reposition NlPOST as the international phenomenon that it is. If this is the case, a reform or a real commercialization should be done with all the stakeholders of the Union.

“In news of all the above, the Hon. The Minister should note that this union which controls more than 90% of the NIPOST workforce must not give up as actions that could lead to job losses and the systematic extinction of NIPOST are considered by the authorities.

“To this end, Hon. The Minister should please consider a technical session with the leadership of this union with a view to reaching consensus on all the issues raised above. We respectfully request the meeting as soon as possible within the next 14 days from the date of receipt of this letter. Otherwise, this union should not be held responsible for a breach of social peace in the organization.

“We also sincerely caution that no action should be taken towards any form of asset sharing or allocation of funds from the Ministry of Finance to any of the newly created subsidiaries, so long as all issues arise will not have been resolved.”

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