… Pledges State Government’s Support to Union
The Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, has urged the Executive Members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Lagos Information Chapel, to ensure that they leave a lasting legacy during their tenure, just as he pledged the support of the State Government to the Chapel.
The HoS spoke during a courtesy visit by the Union’s team, led by the Chapel Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniji, to his office at the Secretariat, Alausa.
His words: “The legacies you leave behind when your term is over is the most important achievement that you would be remembered for as Executives of the Union”.
He also promised to critically look into all the issues raised, which include the provision of a Union Bus and the HND and B.Sc dichotomy in accordance with Public Service Rules and without prejudice to extant circulars.
On the issue of wardrobe allowance for Public Affairs Officers (PAOs), the HoS revealed that the matter had been discussed at a different forum, assuring that the final outcome would be communicated in due course.
Muri-Okunola said, “Public Affairs Officers are reputation managers and representatives of the government, hence it is important that they appear decent always. The matter has been raised with the Commissioner for Information and the modus operandi would soon be sorted”.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office, Mr. Samson Ajibade, counselled the delegation to avoid sentiments on the HND and B.Sc dichotomy issue, explaining that change of cadre affects promotion and that anyone interested in further studies should adhere to due process.
According to him “Acquiring Higher Degree does not translate to automatic change of cadre and promotion as stated in approval letters granted from the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions”.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the Union, Comrade Debo Adeniji, said the purpose of the visit was to intimate the Lagos Head of Service with the activities of the NUJ, Lagos Information Chapel, as well as seek the support of the State Government concerning future projects.
He also appealed to the HoS to use his good office to look into the HND and B.Sc dichotomy and the guidelines concerning promotion for officers who, despite acquiring higher qualifications, still wait for a period of three years before eligibility for promotion.
The Chairman also discussed other issues including the need for a 14-Seater Union bus to ease logistics and the regularisation of some members’ check-off dues being deducted into the coffers of other unions. He noted that the practice restricts the ability of the chapel to commit financial resources to programmes and carry out welfare activities.
Adeniji, however, appreciated the leadership role of the Head of Service and the Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office for their support as well as efforts to ensure peace and unity in the Union since the inception of the present executive.
Expressing optimism that all the Public Affairs Officers in the various MDAs of the State Government would continue to strive hard to ensure optimal performance in propagating the policies and programmes of the present administration, the NUJ – Information Chapel Chairman – solicited support for the Union’s activities designed to mutually benefit its members and the State Government.