Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The management of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency on Friday declared that there was no justification for strike threat by the joint union of aviation workers in the organisation.
Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and the National Union of Air Transport Employees had threatened to embark on strike over various concerns affecting workers in the agency.
But NiMet stated on Friday that most of the claimed sundry issues had been either addressed or currently being attended to, adding that the strike would rather distract the agency’s attention in pursuing its goals.
The Director, Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, said in a statement issued in Abuja that NiMet’s position was contained in a letter sent to the unions by the agency’s Director-General, Sani Mashi.
Mashi said based on the resolutions reached in March 2019 by the Ministerial Committee on the Harmonisation of Salaries of Staff in Aviation Agencies, which the unions were well represented, the salary adjustment for NiMet staff was discussed.
This, he said, was resolved at the committee and the FMA had presented it for further action to the National Salaries, Wages, and Income Commission.
The ministry was exclusively charged with the task of handling the matter with the commission,” Mashi stated.
On the issue of the payment of promotion arrears, he said the unions should know that it was the Office of the Account-General of the Federation and not the NiMet’s responsibility to pay the arrears.
According to him, the agency had been consistently pursuing the matter with the account-general’s office through contacts with the relevant departments.
On palliatives, he said, “Our agency’s Department of Accounts and Finance have computed and paid monetary compensation to all staff on essential duty.
“As of last week, only one-week palliative was in arrears and this has been settled this week.”
With respect to the implementation of minimum wage, the agency argued that it was a known fact that NiMet was not responsible for staff salary payment.
It said the Federal Government, through the Office of the AccountGeneral of the Federation, pays such salaries to the agency’s staff.
NiMet outlined other measures being pursued to positively ameliorate all the sundry issues raised by the unions in the agency and call on all the staff to consider the rule of law and immediately discountenance the call for the strike.