- We have done our best, says Institute
The disengaged staff of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), recently called on the leadership of the institute to review the way they were sacked. The ex-staff, who converged on the Centre for Management Development (CMD), Shangisha, Lagos office of NIMN, staged a peaceful demonstration to protest what they described as unfair treatment and the refusal of the institute’s council to remit their pensions to the relevant authorities.
The protesting staff, who displayed various placards and co-ordinated by three of the institute’s former principal officers, Mr. Archibong Duke, the institute’s former Assistant Director, Membership Services; Mr. Tunde Oyeyode, Director, Corporate Affairs and Procurement and Mr Abiodun Okunade, the institute’s erstwhile Assistant Director, Training and Examination, accused the council of not being fair over the disengagement process.
While venting the group’s disagreement to the media, Archibong had accused the incumbent president of the institute of not honouring his campaign promises of training and re-training the institute’s staff.
According to the aggrieved ex-worker, “One of the campaign promises of the president was that the institute’s workers would be re-trained in tune with the 21st century challenges. He said this severally during his campaign, but we were shocked when he decided to do away with 28 out of the 31 staff of the institute immediately he resumed office.”
He also accused the council of non-remittance of the staff’s pensions to the appropriate government quarters, despite being deducted from their salaries.
He said, in the eventuality, none of the disengaged workers will be benefited from the contributory pension scheme having duly compolied.
“God forbid, if any of us should die tomorrow, there are no records at the pension office that we were actually active with our pension payment while alive. What we are saying is that besides paying us our remaining entitlements, the institute should also release unremitted pensions to the relevant agencies and make available statement of such remitted pensions to us,” he added.
Corroborating the above arguments, another protester, Tunde Oyeyode described the present council as being insensitive to the plight of the disengaged staff.
“When the letters were handed over to us, we told them that the language employed in the letter could be a disincentive to any of us, the disengaged staff that might to seek appointment elsewhere. We told them there was no way such letter could be tendered and the person would be employed because of the language employed.
Acorduing to Oyeyode, the council agreed to re-write the letter, but what they did was just to re-caption the letter. The contentious wordings still remained.”
Reacting to some of the allegations, the institute’s Registrar, Mr. Sydney Ogodo, argued that the issue of non remittance of pension, predated the present council, arguing that the institute had, however, been prompt in remitting staff’s pension since 2016.
789marketing understands that on March 31 this year, the Institute had paid the disengaged staff salaries and 25 per cent of their entitlement with a schedule to pay the balance based on ability to raise the money.
A reliable source said, soon after this arrangement was reached, the Institute’s ex-directors started agitating and threatening to disrupt the peace of the Institute.
According to him, “Their main demand to pay all their outstanding entitlements immediately and to change the termination letters to what they called “employment friendly” ones, spurred others to join the train.”
789marketing gathers that the Council then set up a team to discuss with the aggrieved workers and it was agreed at the meeting that fund will be sourced the additional 50 per cent of the outstanding will be paid as well as re-issue letter.
The President of the Council, Mr. Tony Agemonmen tells 789marketing that that agreement was adhered to. “The 50 percent of outstanding was paid through various sources including borrowing before end June as agreed, he said, adding that “a new letter was written but the rejected it and said it did not meet their expectations.”
On the issue of pension, the Institute’s President stated that the pension schedule is ready for them subject to final reconciliation. “After rejecting the letter, they’ve continued to threaten and in order to fully understand their new position; I invited them to a meeting at Protea, few weeks ago. But they did not turn up.”
“We waited for them for 2 hours and none of them showed up. Today, one of them Obiora wrote a very insulting mail and circulated and made much unguarded allegations. I am told they demonstrated at the Shangisha office on Thursday to draw media attention.”
Ogodo had earlier disagreed with the argument that the council refused to issue a new letter, while insisting that it was the disengaged staff that refused to pick the letters up.
Describing the present situation at the institute as a ‘peace of the graveyard’, Okunade, in his own argument stated that ‘most people decided to keep quite because they didn’t want to destroy NIMN brand, going by the fact that the institute has not fully recovered from the crisis it was plunged into by some of its leadership in the past.”
While also demanding for the statement of unremitted pension, Okunade stated that the group would not relent until their demands were met.