28 September 2017

Nigeria: NAFDAC Crisis - Despite Exit of DG, Workers Vow to Continue Strike

Despite the exit of the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, workers of the food and drug regulator said they will continue their strike.

PREMIUM TIMES broke the news of the exit of Yetunde Oni on Thursday following a directive by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The SGF approved Mrs. Oni's 'immediate retirement' in a letter by R.P. Ugo, a Permanent Secretary in the office of the SGF.

The directive, dated September 28, was in response to a letter written to the SGF by Mrs. Oni over the worker's unrest in the regulatory agency.

The Medical and Health Workers Union chapter of NAFDAC commenced an indefinite strike last week demanding improved welfare and the immediate retirement of Mrs. Oni, whom they said was already due for retirement.

The Director of Public Relations and Special Duties, NAFDAC, Jimoh Abubakar, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that Mrs. Oni has been directed to proceed on retirement and hand over to the most senior director of the agency.

Mr. Abubakar disclosed that Ademola Mogbojuri, who is the most senior director of the agency, has been appointed as the acting director general.

Mr. Mogbojuri, was until his appointment, director of Training and Research Institute, Kaduna.

He was once the Director, Finance and Accounts (DFA) before he was redeployed to Planning, Research and Statistics and later redeployed to Kaduna after three months.

STRIKE CONTINUES

Despite the change in leadership, the striking workers said they will not return to work until the last of their demand is attended to.

The vice chairman of the workers' union, Idu Isua, said that the workers will not return to work because Mrs Oni's retirement is not enough to call off the strike.

He noted that the only joyful thing about the appointment is that they now have somebody to negotiate with.

"We are not calling it off. We still have one issue and that is the issue of allowances. So since we have somebody who can spearhead the issue now, we will start from there.

"We can start the negotiation from now since we have somebody who can lead us. So no problem about that but the strike continues," he said.

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