Federal Government Committed to Staff Welfare... says Gana

The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, said the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to the welfare of staff of the Corps as well as other citizens of the Nation.

He made this declaration during the meeting with the Management Team, Zonal Commanders and State Commandants of the Corps at the National Headquarters, Abuja.

Gana posited that the meeting was meant to review the operational strategies of the Corps in actualizing its mandate, especially in the area of protection of Critical Infrastructure and National Asset as it concerns protection of Oil and Gas pipelines with a view of guaranteeing steady power supply, protection of water pipelines, telecommunication installations, curbing of illegal bunkery, illegal refineries, illegal miners and the protection of the Dams, the proposed cattle ranches, wiping off cattle Rustling and a host of other assignments, such as the repositioning of the Private Guards Companies (PGC) through effective monitoring and supervision.

According to Gana, the FG under the present Administration has made adequate budgetary allocation for the Corps to carry out its constitutional mandates effectively, therefore, there should be justification, maintaining that to whom much is given, much is expected, he stated.

Recapping on the visit of the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mai-Kanti Baru, to the Corps National Headquarters, the CG pointed out that based on the partnership between the two Organizations, the GMD has assured the Corps that hence forth, the Corps will no longer pay for testing of stolen petroleum products recovered from vandals for the purpose of confirming if it is genuine.

While briefing the Management Team, Gana charged Zonal Commanders and State Commandants, on the need for effective information dissemination to the Personnel at the Grassroots on the policies of the Corps in order to avoid rumor mongering. He said that, "an informed mind is an enlightened mind, while an uninformed mind lives on speculations and rumors, therefore, for us to get it right, we must carry everybody along at all times."

He made this assertion in line with the misinformation on the stoppage of the Corps Personnel 'Shift Allowance' and the Nonpayment of the promotion arrears which led to the allegation that the approved fund for such was embezzled by the Corps Authority.

He explained that the issue of 'Shift Allowance' was stopped by the Office of Budget, Salary and Wages Commission on June, 2015, but with his intervention and the directive of Mr. President, through the Honorable Minister of Interior, the Government has approved the continuous payment of the Allowance and the Arrears. While on the issue of Promotion Arrears, he disclosed, payment was not made earlier due to the Verification and Biometric exercises carried out by both the Board and the Corps respectively. However, the good news is that, the Honorable Minister of Interior having expressed satisfaction with the exercises, have approved the payment of Promotion Arrears as soon as fund is available.

Nonetheless, it is imperative that Personnel are adequately informed about all these developments so as not to give room for rumor mongering, noting that, the workability of Government Institution is different from Private Institution, therefore, instead of casting aspersion on the Leadership of an Institution and the Federal Government that are working assiduously in making sure that Personnel Welfare is paramount, there is need for confirmation and feedback mechanism.

He assured the Personnel of his desire and willingness as the Leader of the Civil Defence to champion their cause at all times as well as guaranteeing equity and fair play without favoritisms.

Therefore, the Personnel should not give room to mischief makers and enemies of the Corps whose aim is to mislead them and bring division into the Corps to make them lose focus, thereby, using the social media platforms to misinform the Personnel and the General Public on fictitious and unverified information.

He stressed that, “the Corps has come a long way and we cannot use our hand to pull down the house which collectively we are building in line with the dream of our founding fathers”. Therefore, as a Regimental Organization, there is need to observe the channel of communication.

Leaders are expected as an obligation, to brief their Personnel on a regular basis in order to keep them informed.

Furthermore, Gana emphasized that, “as for me, I am committed to Personnel Welfare and always believe that whatever belongs to "A" should be given to "A" as at when due, that is why I run an open door policy for my Personnel irrespective of the Rank to call on me or write officially to confirm any piece of information they are not clear about in order not to give room to speculation.”

The Corps Chief Executive in addition to the Public Relations and Servicom Units, has directed that, the Headquarters, Zones and State Commands should set up a Public Complaint Unit (PCU) for the purpose(s) of verification of information by Personnel and Members of the public that are not clear or are not in tune with the Corps policy in order to be clarified on issues, so as not to get involved in peddling rumor.