Staff of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said they will embark on a strike action.The workers accused the agency’s management of non-payment of N665 million staff claims.However, the director general of the agency has debunked claims by the staff. The claims, tagged unverified, the staff said have been generating crisis between the workers and the management of the agency which said the claims are not verified. Leadership reports that the workers who are under the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) are also protesting the transfer of the secretary of the Women Commission Member of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Shuaibu Afusatu to Lagos. The workers said they want Afasatu to be reposted back to the NEMA headquarters in Abuja. But in his reaction, the director general of the agency Mustapha Maihaja said he inherited over N2.8 billion liabilities from his predecessor.
The liabilities Maihaja said includes the unverified claims which must be verified before the workers can be paid. Details of the liabilities Maihaja listed include N82,019,313.90 (2015); N1,212,063,635.77 (2016); and N1,507,087,420.82 (Jan-March 2017), while the inherited staff liabilities are N9,553,400 (2015); N273,592,861.12 (2016) and N382,096,780.02 (2017). The unverified claims became a subject of dispute in the agency when one of the Level 08 officers applied for N14 million outstanding.Another senior staff was also said to have applied for a refund of N58 million spent on behalf of NEMA. Maihaja who said all staff of NEMA have been receiving their salaries and emoluments since he assumed duty said no anti-labour agenda has been raised by the staff. He also said as requested, he has reposted Afasatu back to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja. “I inherited the liabilities and for all intents and purposes, a chief executive ought to verify all claims that are not paid before he resumes. I am doing exactly that.