Mr. Chris Onyemenam, DG, NIMC
The Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Chris Onyemenean, has explained that the sack of about 3,000 of its staff members is aimed at achieving an accelerated implementation of the National Identity Management System (NIMS).
Onyemenean, made this statement in reaction to protest by some ex-workers against their disengagement, stated that the human resource restructuring process, was necessary because most of the NIMC workflow process required special skilled staffs that was not obtainable in the staff members inherited from the former Department for National Civic Registration (DNCR).
“Some of the affected workers had moral questions of falsified certificates and the NIMC cannot trust them with the process of identity management of other Nigerians which demanded integrity,” he said.
The NIMC boss also stated that majority of the over 10,000 workers that NIMC inherited at creation in 2007 from the defunct DNCR were ghost workers, declaring that some of them had employment in other organisations, while collecting salaries from NIMC.
He said, “While more than 3,000 ghost workers were eliminated in 2008, the organisation continued to bear the brunt of paying for another 3,000 ghost and redundant workers until August when they were asked to go.
“The nominal roll of the defunct DNCR had over 10,000 members of staff, with a correspondingly high number of executive cadre staff who have remained idle since the massive card production exercise under the SAGEM card issuance scheme that ended in December 2006. Management took certain decisions to address these immediate challenges; first was to ascertain the nominal roll of over 10,200 people. At the end of the exercise, we could not account for over 3,000 members of staff inherited from DNCR,” he said.
According to him, following successful consultations and negotiations with unions, and in compliance with the NIMC Act, management formally declared a redundancy and subsequently followed laid down procedures in conducting the redundancy exercise, including negotiation sessions with representatives of the unions inherited from the defunct DNCR that saw to the sacking of additional 3,025 workers.
“The disengagement cost of N940 million was part of the three-year funding arrangement in the sum of N30.06 billion approved for the NIMC by the Federal Executive Council on September 28, 2011. The full amount was provided in the 2012 fiscal year and has been utilised to pay all entitlements,” he said.
He explained that the management had done what could be done to ensure a smooth exit of such staff members including the payment of outstanding promotion arrears and the issue of stagnation.
“Management would like to inform those affected that their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) is intact and is not affected by the exercise. The core value proposition of the NIMS is founded on ‘Trust’. We have tried to dialogue and consult as widely as possible. We have a duty to deliver on the mandate of the NIMC,” he said.
Quoting the words of Albert Einstein, which says “let us all agree for once that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”, Onyemenan urged all stakeholders to think differently and move on rather than “allow ourselves be used by people with ulterior motives.”