CIVIL SERVANTS PROTEST AGAINST MINISTER’S WIFE, WANT HER REMOVED AS PERMANENT SECRETARY IN CHARGE OF MINISTRY, SEE PICS

Staff members of the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment on Wednesday shut off the ministry’s entrance during a protest to demand the removal of the permanent secretary in the office.

The permanent secretary, Evelyn Ngige, is the wife of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige.

The protesters accused Mrs Ngige of not managing the staff well and not paying attention to their welfare. They said some workers were owed salaries for months.

Mrs Ngige did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ calls and a message on Wednesday.

The protest began at 9:30 a.m. with the staff putting the entrance of the building under lock and key.

The chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council of Trade Union at the ministry, Okonkwo Onwuyai, told PREMIUM TIMES the permanent secretary did not provide funding for the running of the ministry despite release by the government.

Mr Onwiyai said the union had called on the Minister for State, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, and the Head of Service, Folasade Yemi-Esan, to intervene but no action was taken.

The union called on President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Ms Ngige from the ministry.

Ms Ngige became a permanent secretary in December 2019, along with eight others. She was redeployed from the office of the Head of Civil Service to the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment.