Some workers of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, picketed the Abuja office oF Nigeria’s apex standardisation body, over allegations of corruption, irregular promotion of newly recruited staff, and poor welfare of staff.
Why the picketing? It was gathered that the placard-bearing protesters, who came together under the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), grounded business activities at the organisation.
Scam Allegations: The Chairman of AUPCTRE in the Federal Capital Territory, Comrade Aliyu Maradun, told newsmen that the Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma, had been involved in contract scams, including the award of multiple contracts and contract splitting.
According to Comrade Maradun;
“We are aware of people who were employed here and under six months they were promoted more than five times, and there are people here who have spent 20 years; stagnated. Some people are on secondment and have refused to go at the detriment of the people here who are supposed to occupy their positions.”
Need for EFCC’s Intervention: Maradun demanded that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) should investigate the operations of the SON. He also called for the improvement of workers’ welfare and the implementation of the directive of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment on voluntarism.
The protest was frowned at: Responding to allegations of the protesters, the President of the SON branch of the Senior Staff Association of the Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), Ayodele Folayan described the protest as uncalled for.
Folayan said there was an ongoing process to resolve issues relating to the welfare of workers and therefore urged the protesters to return to the negotiating table.
The spokesman of the SON, Mr. Bola Fashina, said the protesters disrespected the directive of the labour ministry on voluntarism and not SON.
For instance, on the issue of promotion arrears, Mr. Fashina said budgetary allocation had been made and added that the amount provided had already been approved in the 2019 budget by the National Assembly.