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You risk being jailed, DICON DG tells protesting workers

Major General Aniedi Edet, Director General of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Kaduna, says workers protesting non-enrolment into the Federal Government’s Integrated Payroll…

Major General Aniedi Edet, Director General of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Kaduna, says workers protesting non-enrolment into the Federal Government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and non-payment of their allowances and salary arrears in the last few years, risk being jailed.

During a protest in front of the DICON factory located in Kakuri area of Kaduna South Local Government, the staff wielded banners with inscriptions such as: ‘Enrollment into IPPIS’, ‘Payment of our 6 months’, ‘Payment of 2019 minimum wage arrears’, ‘Stop lopsided payment of allowance’ and ‘Payment of 2022 and 2023 promotion arrears.

But addressing newsmen on the issue, Edet described the staff’s action as mischievous and baseless, saying going by the  conditions of service in DICON’s Act, workers were not allowed to protest or strike.

“Section 3: ( Sub-section 11): By the provisions of section 11 of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria ( DICON) Act 1962 it is an offence punishable by imprisonment on conviction of any person employed by the Corporation in any capacity to take part in a strike or trade union activities the management shall establish proper channels of communication with employees in order to address issues affecting their joint or individual interest,” he said.

While explaining to newsmen about the financial entitlements of staff, the DICON boss said normal official processes were being followed to settle the beneficiaries, but patience was required.

He added that salaries were promptly paid.

Explain the workings of the corporation, the DG accused the protesting workers of telling lies.

“The lies they tell is that it is only DICON that is on GIFMIS. It is not true. It is a government platform. Am I the one that brought GIFMIS, if the government platform is not good, then you are telling Abuja they don’t know what they are doing. I should go and tell Abuja to change it from Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System ( IPPIS) And they will stop your salary for six months.

“It will take sometime to successfully move from GIFMIS to IPPIS. They will be on my neck if they don’t get salary for six months. And What about other agencies that are also there on the platform. We are taking this up with the ministry of defence and the ministry has noted. The whole staff of DICON have received their April salary.

“Every defence agency is on GIFMIS, they collect their salary and pay. The protesting staff also talked about palliative. Yes, the federal government is still processing it. I asked and I was given the lists of agencies that have not been paid palliative yet. None of them is going on protest because it is like embarrassing the federal government. The federal government promised to give this money,” he said.

He said the government is yet to pay the minimum wage and 2019 allowance in many agencies, urging DICON staff to be patient.

He stressed that there was no lopsided allowance payment, saying all staff were paid what is due to them.

Edet assured that efforts were being made to pay the 2022 and 2023 promotional arrears to those promoted in the year under review.

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