The Federal Government on Wednesday reiterated its determination to improve workers welfare for industrial peace and harmony.
Dr Comfort Adeosun, Director, Occupational Health, Safety and Environment, office of the HOCSF, stated this at the Permanent Secretary’s Quarterly Forum with Joint Union Leaders in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in Mararaba.
Adeosun said the forum organised by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF) was a platform for interaction with union leaders.
She said that the forum would improve the synergy that stimulated a harmonious working relationship between union leaders and government for enhanced service delivery.
Adeosun, who is also the director overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary, Social Welfare Office, HOCSF, said the forum was to enlighten labour leaders on various initiatives of government.
She added that it was also to enlighten them on issues relating to the general welfare of public servants.
According to her, the expectations of the forum is to create way in restoring the confidence of organised labour on government’s determination to improve the welfare of workers, thereby bringing industrial peace and harmony.
“I wish to sincerely appreciate the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation for her dogged commitment to the welfare and well-being of the public.
“This commitment is expressed in the establishment of this forum and with her prompt approval for its resuscitation.
“The forum has been resuscitated with the directive to ensure its sustenance in order to consolidate on the existing harmonious working relationship between government and labour in MDAs, ” she said.
Earlier, Mr Dominique Nwachukwu, Director, Employee/Industrial Relations, office of the HOCSF, expressed delight over the union leaders’ response to the meeting.
Nwachukwu said that as government could not function well without labour, there was need for such a forum for dialogue on nation building.
“We are delighted that the unions have responded to our call. The reality is government cannot function as the critical component of nation building without the cooperation of labour.
“And on that note, I want to appreciate each and everyone of you in the respective union areas that have answered this call for us to interact.
“I want to let us know that government in its wisdom cannot deliver on the mandates if a conducive environment for the civil servants is not guaranteed.
“And one element that can make that a reality is the work force and government of a truth is going to be looking into all the issues to ensure that they are attended to, ” he explained.
Also, Comrade Tommy Okon, National President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, expressed delight, saying that the forum would serve as a platform to address numerous issues affecting public servants in the country.
According to Okon, the forum will also be a platform to get feedback for most workers who are not present at the meeting.
“Such a forum like this is always good because information is important and where you congregates the likes of the unit chairmen in the MDAs, you are making ways to ensure that there is industrial peace and harmony.
“As you know where there is interaction, there will also be feedback, and then we will also go back to inform other members of staff.
“I think the HOS is very strategic in this engagement and I salute her dexterity and leadership, ” he said.
According to him, the forum will address the issue of delay in N35,000 wage award and the minimum wage as expected by the workers.
“It is a way to chat, especially, taking into cognisance that in the next few months, there is going to be issue of the national minimum wage where there is going to be a lot of clamour from the workers, ” he explained.
According to reports, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) Nigeria Union of Public Service Repertorial, Secretarial, Data Processor and Allied Workers (NUPSRAW) were in attendance.
Other unions present include: Medical Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Re-creational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).
Others are the Nigeria Union of Agriculture and Allied Employees (NUAAE) and Nigeria Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Products Workers (NUPPPPROW).