James Emejo in Abuja
The Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) has said despite the disruption of the commission’s activities , including that of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Secretariat which operates from its premises, the NIPC Head Office, its management remains fully committed to dialoguing with the staff union to resolve their grievances and ensure that they remain motivated towards achieving the goals and objectives of the institution.
The commission, also expressed concern over the unexpected industrial action and locking of the access gate of the its Head Office Complex in Maitama, Abuja, by the leadership of the NIPC Chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) last month.
The NIPC management in a statement, noted that most of the allegations were also made by the Union when it unexpectedly locked the NIPC gate in July 2020, adding that some of the issues currently being headlined had either been resolved or currently being addressed by management.
The Union had among other things, claimed that their action was supposedly predicated on the alleged wrongful dismissal of staff; management’s alleged refusal to implement the terms of an agreement reached with the Union in July 2020; alleged interference and manipulation of staff promotion exercises; NIPC’s supposed inability to achieve results in five years; other unfounded allegations against the person of the Executive Secretary.
However, the management, while responding to the allegations, pointed to the various achievements of the commission under the leadership of the current Executive Secretary (ES), Ms Yewande Sadiku, adding that major welfare improvements were initiated under her leadership without being prompted, including staff housing loan scheme, post service benefit scheme and peculiar allowance.
The statement added that under the leadership of the current ES in the last four years, NIPC had recorded a number of achievements including the production of the Book of States to highlight investment prospects and competitive advantages of every state in Nigeria, to better showcase subnational investment opportunities.
Others are the publication of the Compendium of Investment Incentives in Nigeria; Initiation and implementation of the reform of Nigeria’s International Investment Agreements regime to attract Responsible, Inclusive, Balanced and Sustainable investments, which led to the negotiation of the Nigeria-Morocco Bilateral Investment Treaty that was prominently featured by UNCTAD as an exemplary model in the 2017 World Investment Report among other things.
The commission added: “For the record, it should be noted that despite the resolution of virtually all the issues and continuous engagement with the Union and other stakeholders, the Union has issued four ultimatums to management in the past six months, over issues that had either been resolved or had never been brought to management’s attention.
“Most of the current allegations were also made by the Union when it unexpectedly locked the NIPC gate in July 2020.
“Following that incident, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment held several meetings with representatives of the NIPC Governing Council, NIPC Management, the Union, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and other stakeholder MDAs resulting in the resolution of the issues, most of which have been implemented, while others are at various stages of implementation.”