Staff members of Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct an investigation on the commission’s project account.
The staff made the call on Tuesday during a protest that kicked off a three-day warning strike at the commission headquarters in Abuja.
The three days warning strike is to drive home their demands for better working condition and the sack of the Director General (DG) of the Commission, Professor Eli Jidere Bala who they accused of incompetence and impunity.
The staff, led by the ECN chapter Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), accused Mr. Bala diverting the funds meant for the commission for other use., called on EFCC’s intervention and pledged to support the anti-graft agency in its investigation.
They also complained about the transfer of ECN under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), stating that the Ministry of Science and Technology has been diverting the resources of the commission to execute its own mandates.
The chairman of the association, Comrade Promise Chukwu, in his speech also accused the Bala led ECN management of collaborating with FMST to secretly employ their “cronies” into the commission.
“The ongoing tireless effort by the ECN Management in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to secretly recruit their cronies and placed them as Assistant Chiefs, Chiefs, and Deputy Directors over and above the many internally qualified staff members of the commission will be resisted.”
“The work environment in the commission can best be described as that of glorified slump littered with thrashes of broken office equipment, expired batteries and dysfunctional toilets. Imagine over 100 Staff using a single toilet!”
Staff now resorts to the nearby bush whenever nature calls. At present, there no single functional printer, photocopying machines and other vital office equipment for staff use in the commission.
Stating their demands, the association said it will proceed with an indefinite strike if, by the end of the three days warning strike, their demands are not met.
They are asking for the resignation of Director General of the Commission and immediate retirement of persons who have reached the retirement age.
Also part of these demands, the association is asking for “immediate reversal of the controversial supervisory role of ECN from FMST to Presidency or at best to one of the Ministries where their function is directly related to energy such as Federal Ministry of Petroleum”.
“This industrial action is a three-day warning strike which after today congress should stay at home until directed by the Association. If nothing is done after the expiration of the 3 days warning, the strike will be indefinite until Mr. President Sack the Emperor and restore sanity to the system,” Mr. Chukwu said.