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Minister goes tough, locks out Perm Sec, directors, others

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2008/04/22 | Views: 531 |

Minister goes tough, locks out Perm Sec, directors, others


Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, on Monday locked out the Permanent Secretary, directors and some other employees of the ministry for reporting late to work.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, on Monday locked out the Permanent Secretary, directors and some other employees of the ministry for reporting late to work.
It was gathered at the ministry that the Minister who reported for work at 8.15 a.m., gave the directive that the gates be shut.

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, respite came, for the ministry officials when the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Baba Kaigama arrived at 9.12 a.m. before the staffers were allowed in by security men.

Maduekwe who later addressed the workers, berated them for finding it difficult to report to work on time, “after a nice weekend.”
The minister, who noted that it was not intentional to keep any worker ‘miserable’ under the heat of the sun, expressed surprise that majority of the workers were not at their duty posts at the stipulated time.
Maduekwe explained that under the civil service rule, workers were expected to be at their duty posts by 8 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.

“Because I travel frequently out of the country should not give you the illusion that I do not know what is happening in the ministry,” he said.
“This administration places emphasis on the rule of law, accountability and due process.
“If we must get it right, this ministry must lead by example and be a model in order to project a good image for this country,” Maduekwe added.

According to him, for the country to attain its vision of being one of the 2020 economies, its workforce must be hard working, disciplined and committed.
“We must get it right if we are actually going to be one of the 2020 economies, but you cannot attain this if you report to work late,” he stressed.

Maduekwe who noted that government was mindful of the challenges the workers faced, said such challenges were man-made and were surmountable.
“I am not pretending about problems of no power supply, lack of transportation and water, but you have to strive to achieve,” he said.
He granted the workers ‘a general amnesty’ with a warning that “it will not be so next time.”

Some staff who reacted to the situation, expressed regret that the minister was not being fair to them, adding that there were no staff buses to convey them to work.
“How do you expect us to put in our best when the issues of welfare, which is very
paramount to our ability to deliver quality service is not addressed,” one of the civil servants said.

He explained further that though there were lots of challenges, workers had been jolted
by the action and would also try to sit up. Another civil servant described the minister’s address as a ‘political talk’ adding that more needed to be done than “speaking grammar.”
He said: “Ministers travel a lot, but do not know what junior workers that are doing all
the job go through.”

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