Tuesday, November 19, 2013

National Museums’ workers begin indefinite nationwide strike, Nov 20

National Museums’ workers begin indefinite nationwide strike, Nov 20 


A nationwide indefinite strike by workers of Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) begins tomorrow. Embroiled in controversies over the last eight years, the NCMM is an agency of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation.

The indefinite work stoppage, called by the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE); is sequel to a 21-day notice served on NCMM director general.

Several key political office holders and civil service top brasses, including head of service of the federation; minister as well as permanent secretary of the ministry of tourism, culture and national orientation;  were each given a copy of that warning.

Labour will hold rallies at National Museum/NCMM stations in Benin City, Jos and Lagos et cetera on November 20, to flag off their nationwide indefinite strike, according to Mr. Adogah Abdullahi, Secretary of AUPCTRE, NCMM Chapter.

In Lagos, labour activities addressed workers at NCMM station in Onikan on 19 November. Confirming the commencement of the strike, Abdullahi, declared the protest became inevitable; following failure by the Commission’s management to meet any of their demands.

“Please, be informed that our strike, earlier slated for January, 2013, will now commence tomorrow”, Abdullahi told mauricearchibongtravels during a telephone conversation on Tuesday. A circular was sent to labour executives at each NCMM station to “hold congress and direct workers to stay home in observance of the strike”.

The union executive explained that the strike, earlier called for January this year, was suspended because of promises made to NCMM workers by now outgone director general, Mr. Yusuf Abdallah Usman; following intervention by Tourism and Culture Minister, Chief Edem Duke.

“Shamefully, none of the promises made to us, which led to suspension of our plans to strike in January was fulfilled. These promises were made, more than nine months before Abdallah Usman’s tenure came to an end last 4 November”, Abdullahi rued. Expatiating, the labour scribe added that the strike was necessary “to achieve a better, efficient and corruption-free museum system”.

It is worth pointing out, that the NCMM has been acephalous since Abdallah Usman’s term elapsed on 4 November. Going by bureaucratic convention, an acting DG should have been named for the NCMM on or before November 4, but more than two weeks since Usman’s exit, the Commission has been rudderless.

Meanwhile, mauricearchibongtravels has gathered from impeccable sources that the outgone DG had been served a letter to handover on Wednesday, 13 November; but he chose to scorn that memo, which emanated from the office of the Permanent Secretary.   

The NCMM is in a quandary, despite boasting four substantive directors; viz: Dr Musa Hambolu, Dr Barth Chukwuezi, Bode Oke and Oluremi Adedayo; Director, Research, Planning and Publications; Director, Educational Services and Training; Director of Finance and Accounts (DFA); and, Director, Monuments, Heritage and Sites (MHS) respectively.

When contacted, Dr Barth Chukwuezi, NCMM’s Director of Educational Services and Training told mauricearchibongtravels: He (outgone DG Usman) travelled”. In other words, the NCMM could go to hell because a man, whose tenure has elapsed, chose to ignore a simple directive from the de facto head of a ministry.

Thus, what should normally be a simple administative process has now morphed into such a complex curio that it now requires a nationwide shutdown of National Museums to address…

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