The management and staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, have signed a negotiated Staff Terms and Conditions of Service. The signing ceremony, which was performed at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, was witnessed by representatives of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, as well as officials of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, AUPTRE.
The NDDC Managing Director, Sir (Barr) Bassey Dan-Abia, said that the new condition of service was meant to encourage the workers to be dedicated to their duties and spur them to continue to be productive. He underlined the importance of a motivated workforce in the attainment of the mandate of the interventionist agency.
He recalled that in his maiden meeting with staff of the commission last year, he announced the commitment of the board and management to prioritize staff welfare in view of the fact that human capital management was the single most important resource among other factors of service delivery.
Sir Dan-Abia emphasized that the mandate of the commission could not be realized without a dynamic, virile and productive workforce, hence its resolve to lay emphasis on human capital development. He noted that the new negotiated staff terms and conditions of service was an improvement on what existed in the commission before now.
The NDDC Executive Director Finance and Administration, Dr. Henry Ogiri, explained that the conditions of service covered every aspect of staff welfare, including the correct placement of staff at all levels. He said that the management and the workers’ union were meticulous in drafting the document, stating that it was important that both sides respected the terms of the agreement.
The zonal director of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Mrs Omuavie Udeme-Akpan, commended the NDDC for inviting the ministry to witness the signing ceremony, as the clearing house for all labour matters. She observed that the NDDC had proved over time to be a peaceful place of work. She advised that should any labour-related issues arise in the future, the ministry should be consulted to assist in resolving such issues.
In his own remarks, the National Vice President of AUPTRE, Comrade Evans Olumo, said that he was delighted that the current management of the NDDC had fulfilled its promise to improve on the service delivery of the commission. He described the negotiated conditions as a budget for the welfare of workers.
The Chairman of the NDDC Senior Staff Association, Mr Oyiokro Omukoro, said that the workers had waited patiently for the agreement to take effect, adding that the prayer of the workers was for the document to be implemented to the letter.