There is a strong rumour that officials of the Nigeria Correctional Service may embark on an industrial action anytime soon over alleged poor salary structure and general welfare.
The strike if eventually sees the light of the day may lead to security collapse in Nigeria as junior officers of the Nigerian Police Force have reportedly concluded plans to down tools over poor salary and welfare compared to other security sister agencies.
A statement obtained by journalists indicated that men and officers of the NCS who have been aggrieved with the meagre salaries they receive despite the hazardous nature of their work want the Federal Government to look into their plight or risk industrial action.
They accused FG of giving all the attention to inmates and the building facilities across the centres without taking the welfare of the officers manning those facilities and caring for the inmates into consideration.
According to the document, “Now the big question is why all the attention of the Federal government focusing on the inmates, buildings and others then neglecting the welfare of the officers employed to take care and correct the inmates in line with the Mandela’s rule?
“In line with the United Nation Standard, minimum rules(Mandela’s rules) the correctional officers are well paid and taken care of in all capacities to enable them carry out their legitimate responsibilities for the betterment of the inmates and the Nation. But here in Nigeria, the reverse is the case.
“Our salaries and allowances are very poor both the senior and the junior officers. We are traumatized to the extent of recently some staff committing suicide due to neglect, poor welfare. If this issue is not addressed we are left with no option than to go on strike.
“We want to draw the attention of the federal government that the Modus Operandi of our NCS must be changed to commensurate with the new nomenclature. Officers and men should experience the correction firstly in different areas of their livelihood. They should be trained overseas to be able to adapt to system of operation for better productivity and to reduce cases of recidivism.
“Accommodations of the NCS officers both senior and junior are eye soars except those officers who are very lucky to work in Akwa Ibom command and Ikot Ekpene custodial centre but thatch/mud houses are still used as accommodation by the NCS officers in different parts of the country. No befitting Barracks
“The Nigerian Correctional officers and men did not receive a diem and palliative from the Federal government through out the Covid 19 lockdown, but we are still committed to our duties, caring for the inmates, providing guards and security to all the correctional centres to avoid any unusual occurrences to the facilities in Nigeria.”
They however called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in their plight using his fatherly disposition, so that they would carry out their work effectively.
“Our outcry is to our dear father, President Muhammadu Buhari to kindly come to our rescue. He should form a committee that will look into our welfare scheme since we do not have a service commission or effective representation in the National Assembly. We don’t want to die in silence in this 21st century”, the document noted.
However, when the Force Public Relations Officer, HU Chukwuedo was contacted, he said he was not privy to any strike threat by the officers.
“Well, I’m not aware of any threat by our officers to go on strike and I’ve not even gotten the lead from any quarter that any of our staff is protesting over anything”, Chukwuedo stressed.