Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has set up a six-man committee to resolve the lingering dispute between local government employees and the six area councils in the nation’s capital.
Wike made this known yesterday when he briefed newsmen after a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and the councils’ chairmen in Abuja.
The disputes were due to unresolved allowances and deductions due to local government employees who planned to embark on strike on October 2, 2023, in solidarity with primary school teachers.
The FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) had on September 11, 2023, began indefinite strike over unpaid 40 percent peculiar and other outstanding allowances.
Other concerns of the teachers include non-payment of 25 months’ arrears of the 2019 approved national minimum wage, non-release of some promotion letters to beneficiaries, and non-implementation of released promotion letters.
Other issues are non-payment of promotion arrears, non-upgrading of concerned teachers, non-implementation of salaries for upgraded teachers, non-implementation of annual salary increments in some councils, and non-compliance with the agreement on payments of the backlog of teachers’ entitlement amongst others.
The minister said that the committee was given two weeks to submit its reports on the modalities to resolve the problems.
“We believe that NULGE is satisfied with the arrangement put on the ground to resolve the issues and I believe that in the next 48 hours, NULGE should do the needful for the interest of the entire FCT,” he said.
The minister commended the NULGE official for attending the meeting with an open mind for a quicker resolution of the problems.
The secretary of Area Council Service Secretariat, Mr Bitrus Garki, told journalists that the meeting was to resolve the 40 percent unpaid peculiar allowance, hazard allowance, and other deductions and some of the issues dated back to 2006.
“What happened today was basically to understand what the issues are and the challenges the areas councils were facing. The minister has intervened and set up a six-man committee, made up of members of NULGE, directors of finance in the six areas councils, and officials of the FCTA.
“From our discussions, NULGE applauded the minister for speedy intervention and responding to their letter. We all agreed that the strike should be called off, pending when the report will come out from the committee, and we will meet again to find lasting solutions to the problem,” he said.