…Budget Office stopped initial payment, not me – Gana
Respite has come the way of officers and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), as plans to commence the immediate payment of the initially stopped ‘Shift Allowance’ as well as the long awaited ‘promotion arrears’ have been concluded.
The Commandant-General of the Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana gave the hint at a meeting with top management team, Zonal and State Commandants of the Corps at its National Headquarters, Abuja.
Gana who blamed the allegation that he embezzled funds allocated for payment of officers’ incentives on misinformation said contrary to the claims, ‘Shift Allowance’ was stopped by the Office of Budget, Salary and Wages Commission on June, 2015, but that with his intervention and a recent directive by Mr. President, through the minister of interior, the order has been reversed.
On the issue of ‘Promotion Arrears’, he said payment was not made earlier due to the Verification and Biometric exercises carried out by the Paramilitary Board and the Corps respectively. He however hinted that having expressed satisfaction with the screening exercises, the federal government has also approved the commencement of payment of Promotion Arrears to deserving officers.
The NSCDC boss, who regretted that officers and men of the Corps were not intimated about the development, acknowledged that their decision to secretly fight back the decision of the budget office rather created room for rumour, blackmail and series of image denting allegations on his personality.
According to him, I have come to realise that the workability of government institution is different from private institution, therefore, instead of casting aspersion on the leadership of an Institution and the federal government that are working assiduously to ensure that personnel welfare is paramount, there is need for confirmation and feedback mechanism.
He assured officers of his desire and willingness to protect their interests at all times as well as ensures that equity and fair play without favoritism are entrenched in the system.
He however pleaded with the corps not to give room for mischief makers and enemies of the Corps whose aim is to mislead them and bring division among them in a bid to make them lose focus, thereby, using the social media platforms to misinform the general public on fictitious and unverified information.
He said, “The Corps has come a long way and we cannot use our hand to pull down the house which we are collectively building in line with the dream of our founding fathers. Therefore, as a regimental organisation, there is need to observe the channel of communication.
‘‘It is true that leaders are expected as an obligation, to brief their personnel on a regular basis in order to keep them informed.’’
Furthermore, Gana reiterated his commitment to staff welfare, adding that he believes that whatever belongs to “A” should be given to “A” as and when due. ‘‘That is why I run an open-door policy for my personnel irrespective of the rank to call on me or write officially to confirm any piece of information they are not clear about in order not to give room to speculation.”
Gana explained that the meeting was meant to review the operational strategies of the Corps in actualising its mandate especially in the area of protection of Critical Infrastructure and National Asset as it concerns protection of Oil and Gas pipelines with a view of guaranteeing steady power supply.
He listed other strategies to include: protection of water pipelines, telecommunication installations, curbing of illegal bunkery, illegal refineries, illegal miners and the protection of Dams, the proposed cattle ranches, wiping off cattle rustling and a host of other assignments such as the repositioning of the Private Guards Companies (PGC) through effective monitoring and supervision.