NIPOST workers kick against FIRS stamp, threaten nationwide strike

Posted by News Express | 11 July 2020 | 376 times

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Workers of the Nigerian Postal Service have protested against the printing of stamps by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, saying it is a usurpation of their duties.

The workers under the umbrella body of Senior Staff of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies issued a 21-days ultimatum within within which the Federal Government should facilitate an urgent meeting of stakeholders in order to arrive at an amicable resolution or risk nationwide strike.

The FIRS had on June 30, 2020 produced and launched its owned brand of adhesive stamp.

The workers noted that the continuous issuance of adhesive stamps by the FIRS will put not less than 15,000 workers out of job.

General Secretary of SSASCGOC, Dr. Ayo Olorunfemi, during a press conference, said many Nigerians have stopped purchasing adhesive stamps from NIPOST.

He said the union would not hesitate to report Nigeria to the International Postal Union, saying “as we can no longer tolerate lip service at the expense of good governance which is the bedrock of development.”

Olorunfemi said: “To this end we are calling on the federal government to facilitate an urgent meeting between NIPOST, FIRS, SSASCGOC and other stakeholders in order to arrive at an amicable resolution. Failure to do this within 21 days from Thursday July 9 2020, we shall have no other option than to direct all our members in NIPOST to withdraw their services.

“It is very painful that while other nations are protecting and developing their postal services and making maximum use of the services for advancement, Nigeria is busy doing things that will kill its own.”

While expressing shock at what he described as high level of government’s insensitivity to the plight of NIPOST and its staff, Olorunfemi said that despite appeal by SSASCGOC, the administration of President, Muhammadu Buhari, should not kill the NIPOST, all efforts are being made to throw the organisation into oblivion.

According to him, although SSASCGOC recognised the power conferred on FIRS to collect stamp duties, it is illegal for FIRS to produce stamp to denote duties when it could be procured from NIPOST.

He said: “We have not thrown out seeking redress in court to challenge the illegality; we have to exhaust all avenues before seeking redress in court. Some people are trying to play mischief and feeding the President with wrong information. We will not lose less than 15,000 workers and we will not allow that to happen, but we will protect the interest of our members.

“It should be noted that both NIPOST and FIRS are statutory corporations for which this union has jurisdiction to organize their staff. Therefore, our position must always be balanced according to the laws of the land. That is why we are insisting that both organizations must develop a synergy that will enhance higher productivity in the area of stamp matter.

“We recognise the power conferred on FIRS to collect stamp duties just as that of the NIPOST power to produce and issue stamps. These must be acknowledged and recognized in implementing the Finance Act.

“Therefore it is illegal for FIRS to produce stamp to denote duties when it can be procured from NIPOST. It should be noted that stamp is a product of NIPOST as given to it by law. The Finance Act did not give any power to FIRS to produce stamp. In other word to utilize stamp for duties FIRS must get it from NIPOST.” (The Nation)

Source: News Express

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