Workers demand removal of Aganga
Workers of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investmentwant the minister in charge of their ministery , Olusegun Aganga, sacked.
Workers of the ministry on Tuesday staged a protest, demanding immediate sack of the minister alongside his Permanent Secretary, Dauda Kigbu.
Their grouse: the ministers insensitivity to their welfare issues.
The workers alleged that they had suffered untold hardship under the administration of Aganga, posited that he is no longer in the capacity to head the ministry for what they described as poor performance and gross incompetence.
The protest was happening just the same time minister was speaking of his achievements at the 2013 ministerial platform at the Radio House, Abuja, accused Kigbu and the Director, Commercial Law Department, Mrs. Nima Salmann of complicity.
A Commercial Officer, who spoke for the workers, Mr. Okonkwo Onwuyan, said poor funding, poor welfare packages, dirty environment, dilapidated structures and lack of infrastructure have been the hallmark of the ministry.
He said that workers in the ministry had suffered untold hardship since the minister assumed office, adding that all efforts to make the minister address the situation were rebuffed.
Onwuyan also alleged that the minister hardly stays in the ministry to oversee its affair, adding that the workers had nicknamed him 'the flying minister', which he said had translated into inaction in the ministry.
He said Aganga approved N10 million for staff to celebrate the forthcoming Sallah, which he said negates what the union agreed with him. According to him, by the time each staff gets his own share of the N10m, he will be going home with N2, 000 to N3, 000, which he said is unacceptable.
'In the sister ministry, one person will be going home with N20, 000 to N30, 000, are we cursed here?' Onwuyan said.
Also, a worker who simply identified herself as Felicia claimed that while other ministries are being treated with good welfare packages during the Ramadan, they are being given N2, 500.
'Every festival the minister gives us N2, 500 and there is no single training for any of the staff,' she said.
The workers carried placards with inscriptions such as 'Aganga must go!', 'Aganga bargaining for improved salary for staff as a professional ministry', and 'Husband and wife are ruling the ministry'
The workers accused the minister and his wife of running the ministry aground, stating that such impunity would no longer be tolerated.
Policemen were however on ground to control the surging protesting workers.
An official of the ministry who pleaded anonymity however said that the workers' grouse against the minister is personal.
According to him, what the workers are demanding is N50, 000 each for Sallah, but the ministry gave out N10 million.
He said the ministry has provided four buses for the workers to ease their transportation burden, adding that the ministry is partnering with donor agencies for capacity building and training.
The Communication Officer in the office of the minister, Emeka Ezekiel, told The Guardian that the workers demanded N50,000 each for the celebration of Sallah. He said the minster had addressed the protesting workers.