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Water ministry workers protest nonpayment of arrears, training

Workers at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources on Tuesday protested against the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Musa Istifanus, over his refusal to pay their promotional arrears and allow them embark on trainings.

Some of the workers who did not want their names in print for fear of being victimised, alleged that Istafanus had refused to allow them go for trainings since he assumed office at the ministry.

They also alleged that the permanent secretary had taken over the running of the entire departments in the ministry.

The workers alleged that Istifanus was solely overseeing the supply of diesel and fuel to the ministry, accusing him to have deliberately sacked some employees in the ministry and also replaced the security unit with people from his security firm.

The employees, during the protest, further alleged that activities in the ministry had been grounded since Istifanus assumed duty at the ministry as permanent secretary.

One of the protesters told reporters that “He (Istifanus) has completely taken over everything in the ministry from the supply of diesel and fuel to vehicle repairs. These are supposed to be works for departments head. We are tired of his style of leadership. He does not consider our welfare at all. My brother, can you believe that I have never attended any training programme in this ministry since I came here?

“In fact, our promotional arrears have not been paid too. These and many more are some of the things going on in this ministry.”

When contacted, Istifanus dismissed the allegations levelled against him by the workers.

According to him, the major reason why the workers protested was because he refused to approve Sallah package for them.

Istifanus said that those who were sacked were found wanting for various offences.

He said, “With respect to promotional arrears, one part has been paid. But the other two could not go through at the Budget Office because it was a blanket request. I do know that since about two years ago, the training was for every staff. But the money available now cannot train all the staff in one year. So what is done is to train a portion of staff in a particular year and another group in the next year.”

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Posted By Bobricky On 08:27 Tue, 08 Sep 2015

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