National Lottery Commission’s Staff Embark On Indefinite Protest

Workers of National Lottery Commission have commenced indefinite protest in Abuja over sundry issues, including what is seen as the summarily dismissal of two directors of the commission by its management.

The workers in a protest that started yesterday at the head officer of the commission in Abuja accused its director-general, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila of highhandedness, impunity and victimization of perceived enemies of the DG and his cabinet. The union called on the authorities to investigate the many illegalities happening in the commission.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating Mr misappropriation of funds by the management of the lottery commission and some staff to the tune of 2.8 billion.

The two level-17 officials dismissed from service are: director human resource management, Robert Blessing Bolokor and director monitoring and enforcement depart, Okechukwu Oduna. Both directors were relieved of their jobs over allegation of breach of employment rules. The letter states that the decision was taken in line with recommendations of the committee constituted by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the federation levelled against them by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The letter that was obtained by our correspondent reads in part: “This allegation contravenes the Public Service Rules (PSR) 030402 (a & w) which is a serious misconduct and shall attract appropriate disciplinary action which include dismissal from service. Consequent upon this, you are hereby dismissed from the Federal Public Service with immediate effect.”

The union stated that the said committee that recommended the dismissal of the directors was a charade that should be nullified, saying it undermined due process. “As far as we are concern, there was no process. Because the process as spelt out in the public service was not followed. These directors were not issued queries or make any statement in response to the allegations against them,” secretary of senior civil servants of Nigeria, Mrs Anastacia Iweze said in an interview with ourcorrespondent yesterday. “The only two directors of the commission were summarily dismissed without due process. No fair hearing; due process was not followed. The DG, Lanre Gbajabiamila connived with the board of the commission to dismiss the directors.”

Spokesman of the commission, Magnus Ikechukwu refused to comment on the allegations when our correspondent met it in the premises of the commission during the protest. He also failed neither pick nor return calls to his telephone number thereafter.

Iweze said the union staff would continue the protest infinitely over the issues she said some of which have subsisted for over six years, but the management and our DG have chosen not to do anything.

The union said years after their staff condition allowances were approved, the Gbajabiamila led management has refused to pay their due. As it stands, the staffers do not know what’s their due, while the management do whatever they like without recourse to due process.

Apart from that, the staff are also protesting the non-implementation of the new salary structure that was approved for the commission since 2015. Iweze said the management has consistently refused to commit to payment of the new salary structure for the staff.

“We have issue of victimization by Gbajabiamila and his cohorts. Staff cannot talk. If you ask questions, you are either transferred away from the head office, issued query or suspended for no reason, without due process being followed. Our jobs are no longer safe,” Iweze who is also the chief legal officer of the commission said.

According to the union, President Buhari’s intention to unify all governments’ receipts and payment under the TSA policy has not been adhered to in the operations of the commission. Gbajabiamila is accused of always spent from the commissions internally generated revenue against the rules. This expenditure on the IGR over the years has run into billions of naira, funds that should have been remitted to government coffers for the good of all.


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