The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chapter of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) has expressed displeasure over the cancellation of the 2018 promotion examination exercise in the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) by the Governing Board.

This was made known during a courtesy visit on the Acting Executive Secretary of the Institute, Mr. Louis Eriomala at the Institute’s headquarters on January 16, 2019.

The Union officials led by Comrade Diepiribo Briggs said they were shocked with the news of the cancellation of NICO 2018 promotion exam and were at the Institute to verify the issue of an alleged petition written by Union officials in the Institute and the. They also stated that the resolutions from the meeting will guide them on the next line of action in writing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; NICO Governing Board and the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, stressing that the issue of promotion is too germane. He said the allegation levied against AUPCTRE, saying it is capable of tarnishing the good image of the union.

He opined that the several petitions written by individual members of staff from NICO offices were issues that could have been treated internally rather than allowing it to get to the national organ of the union. He therefore enjoined Management of the Institute to see the union as partner in progress, accommodate and promote members of staff who will participate in the re-scheduled exam in the interest of cordial and harmonious relationship in the workplace.

The Acting Executive Secretary of NICO, Mr. Louis Eriomala in his response, explained that the decision to cancel the promotion exercise was taken by the Governing Board of the Institute during its last meeting, where Management was directed to conduct a fresh examination in the first quarter of the year 2019, hence the February 12th date for the repeat exam.

The NICO Boss further disclosed that the issue of lack of vacancy was as a result of massive recruitment of officers on Grade Level Eight (8) about five years ago, who have progressed in their career; resulting to the few or no vacancies as declared by the Head of Service Authorized Establishment. He also corrected the impression that he was against AUPCTRE and advised the executives to always report issues as they really are. He promised that Management will communicate the outcome of the courtesy visit to the Governing Board for further action, as they have already directed that those who are successful in the re-scheduled 2018 promotion examination should have January, 2018 as effective date in their promotion letters.

Others present during the visit were: Mr. Alex Omijie (Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs); Mr. Mike Ekoko (Acting Director, Research & Documentation); Mr. Herbert Ogbe (Head, Finance & Accounts); Mr. Ibrahim Malgwi (Head of Protocol); Comrades James Adediran and Vincent Eni (NICO AUPCTRE Chairman & PRO respectively).

On the part of AUPCTRE FCT team were Comrade Nuhu Shehu (Vice Chairman); Comrade Toyin Solomon (Financial Secretary); and Comrade Ahmed Edilu (Treasurer) among others.

Dimgba Njideka

ES Office, Abuja