By Henry Daniel
Just last week, the speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, warned that a civil servant should not be used as Director of Cooperative Societies in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the proposed Cooperative Societies Bill 2020.
Obasa made this warning during the Second Reading of the Cooperative Societies Bill 2020, titled, “A bill for a law to provide for Registration of Cooperative Societies in Lagos State and connected matters”, noted that a technocrat should be used as Director.
Making the warning, he said, “We must take the director away from the ministry. We must look outside for people with cognate experience that will help us achieve the intendments of this law.”
Alarmed by the speaker’s call, the organized labour under the auspices of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC) -the Trade Union Side (TUS) has called the attention of the Lagos State House of Assembly on the negative effect such a proposed bill will have on the industrial relation space in Lagos State.
In a statement delivered by the secretary, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Lagos branch, comrade Abiodun Aladetan, said after the 2020 JNC meeting held in Lagos, the State Chairman of JNC, Comrade Olusegun Balogun and the State Secretary, Comrade Rasheed Ayanpitan, condemned the proposed clause in the bill which supports hiring Directors from outside the public service because such a law is aimed at destroying the rich culture of career progression which is the envy of the Public Service.
The statement reads, “It is very disturbing to hear honorable members debating and contemplating inserting a clause in a bill that have grave industrial relations implications. The Directorate Cadre in the Ministries are career officers whose appointments are guided by the Public Service Rules (PSR), Civil Service Commission Guidelines on Appointment, Promotion and Discipline as well as the Scheme of Service.
“This move will demoralize the morale of competent and qualified officers in the service if they are not allowed to get to the peak of their career. Therefore any attempt to stagnate the career of the officers in the Ministry is unlawful and won’t be accepted by the Union,”
“We must emphasize that the Public Service have experienced, educated, and highly skilled personnel to carry out all responsibilities entrusted in the office of the Director in the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperative.
The government should not desecrate the Civil Service by bringing Directors from outside”. They group asked the Lagos State House of Assembly to rethink its position in this regard to ensure that justice and fairness prevail.