Human Rights

HND harmonization: Civil Defence boss accused of selective payment, favoritism

HND harmonization: Civil Defence boss accused of selective payment, favoritism

 

There is disquiet at the headquarters of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) as some aggrieved officers are gearing up to break their silence on what they allege  to be suffocating action, selective payment and arbitrariness meted on them by their Commandant-General since 2018.

According to the aggrieved staff, the CG, Mohammed Gana has flagrantly disregarded the federal government directive on the harmonization of HND operatives.

The directive was to the effect that paramilitary agencies domiciled in the ministry of Interior, including the Federal Fire Service, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the NSCDC were to bring up their personnel who entered with the Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate in 2012 at par with their counterparts with first degrees. It also directed that the dichotomy be abolished.

It was learnt that while other agencies adopted the directive and backed it up with payments reflecting the new ranks, Gana embarked on choosing and picking who to benefit.

The aggrieved personnel said in 2018, a HND Harmonization list was released by the NSCDC stating that the payment takes effect from August 2016. This list, it was alleged was defective as some names were omitted.

Sequel to this, the Corps issued another circular on 27th September, 2018 titled ‘ Omission in advancement and harmonization list of Higher National Diploma (HND)’ directing those whose names were omitted to reapply and complain  with a deadline of Oct 7th, 2018.

There are indications that ever since that circular was released and affected officers complied, but the CG has not acted on it. He has continued to pay those on the first list in spite of the hue and cry. Of recent, he paid some newly promoted officers and again, he left the HND Harmonization list.

It was gathered that almost on monthly basis, they were meant to fill forms suggestive that some efforts were being made to right the wrongs. It was further gathered that the CG neither allowed them to write promotion examinations nor allowed them to enjoy the HND harmonization benefit.

An operative who spoke on conditions of anonymity said that the buck stops at the table of the CG.  “The CG has shown disdain for a wholesome implementation of FG directive. He is doing pick and choose, as he sees it as something he can manipulate at his whims and caprices. He queries how a CG can flagrantly refuse to implement the directive of the federal government for two years and there are no consequences’’.

It would be recalled that the CG was recently in the news when he was to retire on July17th, 2020 but dramatically got an extension of six months which will elapse on January 17th, 2021. The extension itself has been a subject of controversy. The operatives called on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and the minister o f Interior, Rauf Aregbeshola to prevail on the CG to give them their rights and pay them their money that has been made available by the FG for the past two years.

The spokesman of the NSCDC Emma Okoh denied claims that the agency’s Commandant General was selective in harmonization of HND personnel. He pointed out that the National Association of Polytechnics recently recognized him for complying with the government directive for harmonization.

According to him, some personnel who have not been harmonized are those who possess the HND but got recruited into the agency with secondary school certificate. He said such personnel would have to wait until there is a vacancy before they can be considered with their HND.

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