Make staff housing your project – FCT workers beg Wike

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By Philip Yatai

Workers of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), under the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC), have appealed to the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike, to make staff housing one of his projects.

The workers made the appeal at the commencement of the JUAC Week in Abuja on Wednesday, with the theme, “FCT Civil Service Commission – A New Dawn”.

JUAC President, Mrs Rifkatu Iortyer pointed out that Abuja was one of the cities with the highest rent in the country.

Iortyer added that the development had forced many workers to stay in outskirt of the city where rent was affordable.

She said that to address the challenge, JUAC had secured a land eight years ago, for staff housing estate.

She, however, said that the union was financially incapacitated to allocate the land to the workers, in spite of paying compensation and other commitments.

She explained that the union had equally made some moves for additional housing for the workers but unsuccessful.

“We appealed to the minister to consider our plea considering that housing is key to our staff. If we cannot do it as a union, let the housing issue be one of our minister’s projects.

“He should help us to have an affordable housing estate for our staff. We know him as ‘Mr Project’, as evident with the ongoing projects across the territory,” she said.

The president also appealed to the minister to look into the transportation scheme for workers, noting that most of the staff buses were grounded since COVID-19 lockdown.

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She commended the minister for being labour-friendly and a welfarist to workers, adding that the biggest gift to the FCT workers was the FCT Civil Service Commission (CSC).

“FCT staffs can now grow to the peak of their career. We cannot thank him enough for making this a reality,” she said.

Also, the FCT Head of Service, Dr Udo Atang, described Wike as a labour-friendly minister, stressing that he has made staff welfare his priority.

“The minister had said that the establishment of FCT CSC is an integral part of President Bola Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope” agenda.

“So, our hopes have been renewed and reestablished. We are all potential permanent secretaries and potential heads of service,”Atang said.

Responding, Wike, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Chidi Amadi, ascribed the successes so far recorded in FCT to the resourcefulness of the workers.

“Today, we are celebrating a new beginning; a new beginning that gives hope.

“A new beginning that gives motivation; a new beginning that gives us the assurance that whatever commitment and sacrifice we put in the service, there is the likelihood that it will be rewarded,” he said.

The minister lauded the collaborative efforts of the workers for a common goal, and advised the leadership of the JUAC to build a culture of negotiation and not confrontation.

“Collaboration should be the watch word. As long as we continue to have this seamless relationship, I will ensure that no worker will be left behind,” he said. (NAN)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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