The lingering management/staff crisis that has threatened the peace of National Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) took another dimension on Wednesday as members of the institution’s union declared a two-week warning strike over what they called management’s deaf ear to their plight.
The placard-carrying unionists who stormed the NAFDAC Headquarters on at Afprint Area of the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, brought activity to a halt as motorists and passers-by on the road got interested in the solidarity of the activists.
Among the placards read inscriptions like “President Buhari, give us Director General in NAFDAC”, “Impunity in NAFDAC must stop”.
Chairman of the Federal Area Council of the Federal Ministry of Health Workers Union, Lagos, Comrade Attah Ibrahim, who spoke at the occasion, said the plight endured by NAFDAC workers across the country had posed serious danger to the health of the nation while calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene without delay.
“NAFDAC is bleeding and bleeding seriously and if nothing is done to adequately address the suffering being encountered by the workers, the consequences will be disastrous for the country,” Ibrahim said.
He listed the workers’ plight to include discrepancy in allowances with workers of Federal Ministry of Health which he maintained was grossly against the rules establishing NAFDAC in 1994, non-promotion of staff whose status had been due for uplifting since 2012, in addition to the absence of a NAFDAC board and appointment of a substantive Director General to replace the incumbent Mrs. Yetunde Oni who has operated on acting capacity.
“We expect all these complaints to be addressed within the next weeks of this warning strike, failure which we will be forced to embark on indefinite strike,” Ibrahim added.
Chairman of Lagos Branch of the NAFDAC Workers Union, Comrade Peter Anzaku, also said the role of NAFDAC in sanitising the nation’s health had made it expedient on the Federal Government to intervene in the ongoing crisis.
“We have written several memos to government on this regard since 2012 because of our quest for industrial harmony but no to avail, hence this unavoidable strike,” Anzaku said.