The Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Mallam Ado Muhammed Yahuza has emphasized the importance of a cordial working relationship between the management and the trade unions that exist in the institute. Saying that, “any Chief executive or management that decides to ignore the union is at its peril”.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Association of Nigerian Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) on Friday, October 30, 2020 in his office, 23 Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja said as a comrade, he is very conversant with the workings of trade unions in establishments, for that reason he would want to work with the trade unions to achieve organizational goals of the institute. He added that most times management can’t function very well without having cordial relationship with the union.
His words: “We are partners in progress…. I am ready to work with all of you. When you observe or notice anything come to us, let’s talk about it. I definitely want the harmony of the two unions.’’
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Head, Abuja Secretariat of Association of Nigerian Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Mr. Isaac Ojemhenke, said the reasons for the visit was first to congratulate the new Executive Secretary of NICO who assumed office two months ago, inform him about their operations, make their requests known to him, as well as assure him of good working relationship.

Mr. Ojemhenke further pleaded with the NICO Management to assist the union in resolving the internal union dispute in NICO between ASCSN and Amalgamated of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) Union as regards members of staff belonging to the appropriate union.
Citing an example of a letter dated December 17, 2019 by the Minister of Labour insisting that AUPCTRE, as a union consists of junior officers on level 1 to 6 whereas ASCSN takes care of senior officers on level 7 to 15 in all MDAs and Agencies of government both at State and Federal level, the Comrade requested that the intent of the letter be endorsed and executed among the two major unions in NICO so that the dispute to a large extent would be resolved.
The issue of seminar/training of staff in NICO, activities of NICO especially Traditional Rulers Conference and promotion and CONRAISS arrears owed staff were brought to the fore by the leader of the delegation for discussion.
In response to the issues raised by the union, the NICO Boss assured that the management will look at the nominal roll and make sure that every staff belongs to the appropriate union based on his or her level. Yahuza explained that most of the issues raised about training and NICO programmes was as a result of paucity of funds that affected most MDAs especially the irregularity of the running cost for agencies in recent years and so NICO was not an exception.
He informed the visitors that: “We are planning to organize an in-house training on Public Service Rules (PSR) and professional training. Since I came I have visited Lagos, we are going round NICO offices to know what is on ground so that we can re-strategize and by January start working. You don’t expect productivity when there is no working tool…There is no way you can organize programmes without resources. We are going to re-strategize and digitalize some of our programmes to achieve the mandate of NICO within the available resources.’’
Concluding, he thanked the union for the visit and assured that the management will solve the problem of union schisms and fast track the submission of the required documents to the Accountant General’s office for the payment of promotion arrears.
The Director, Administration and Human Resources, NICO Alhaji Ibrahim Husseini urged the union to organize orientation seminar on work ethics for its members with the view to encouraging them to abide by the regulations and observance of the civil service rules as well as apply decorum in the office environment. This he said, will go a long way in creating cordial relationship among staff and management.
Present during the courtesy visit were ASCSN State Secretaries FCT Chapter. They include, Comrade Jonathan Igba; Comrade Adeji Glory; Comrade Adebowale Cynthia and Comrade Usman Funtep.
ASCSN NICO Chapter present were: Gwautsa Jacob (Chairman); Sani Umoru (Vice Chairman); Marcus Tamuno Gogo (Secretary); Salamatu Yahaya (Treasurer); and Onyeka Promise Anyalewechi (Ex-Officio).
Njideka Dimgba
Media Unit
E S Office, Abuja