Activities across the six area councils have been paralysed following an indefinite strike action embarked upon by staff of the councils in the territory.
Our reporter who visited some of the area councils yesterday observed that the main gates to the council secretariats were shut, while security men kept watch.
At Abaji area council, the main gate was locked, while some staff members were seen standing in front of the gate directing others who were apparently reporting for work to go back home.
A staff member of the council, who simply identified himself as Yunusa, said the staff of the council decided to abide by the directive of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) not to go to work since the FCT Administration had failed to pay the minimum wage.
“Yes, no staff is allowed to come to work, that is why I joined other members of our union to stand at the gate and turn back other staff. Until the minister pays our minimum wage, we will not work,” he said.
In Kwali area council secretariat, the situation was the same when our reporter visited, as the main gate was also under lock and key.
The secretariat premises were deserted as no worker was seen. The situation was the same in Gwagwalada area council secretariat.
A staff member of the council, who preferred anonymity said, “It is unfortunate that what is happening to primary school teachers is also happening to us and we will not go to work until our minimum wage is implemented by the minister,” he said.
Also, in Kuje area council secretariat, no worker was present as all offices were shut.
The president of the Nigeria Union Local Government Employee (NULGE), Comrade Alhassan Abubakar Yakub, said the union decided to embark on indefinite strike action over the failure of the FCT Administration to implement the 2019 minimum wage for staff of the six area councils.
He said the union has been negotiating with the FCT Administration since January 2020, but their demands have not been met.
Reacting, the chairman Abaji area council, Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya, said the council could not pay the minimum wage due lack of funds.
He said, however, a committee had been setup by the Minister of State for FCT, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, on how to source for funds to tackle the issue.
“We at the council level, are not relenting in our efforts to see that the minimum wage is paid, as the minister has setup a committee to see how funds can be sourced to ensure that minimum wage is paid”, he said.