Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm Cut Off Civilization!

Hi folks,

I don't know how many MTN users are feeling depressed and frustrated as I am right now. I have been cut off civilization just because of the striking staff of Nigerian Tele-communications Limited.

Transcorp Hilton had dared the staff that they were not working and so they decided to proof their worth, today it is weeping and gnashing of teeth for those who have come to depend on the GSM to transact business.

The Minister of State for Information and Communications, Ibrahim Nakande, has appealed to the striking staff of Nigerian Tele-communications Limited "to return to work in the overall interest of the nation".

Did I hear him right? interest of the nation? and if indeed that was the case, why has it been so difficult to meet the demands of the workers or at least sit down with them to dialogue and reach a common ground?

How can you be owing family men and women several months, how are they suppose to take care of basic needs like healthcare, school fees, house rent, feeding as well as transport themselves to work?

Rather than talk to them face to face he decided to send his appeal in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Okon Bassey, in Abuja.

The minister said that suspension of the strike would ensure a conducive atmosphere for negotiations to continue. He warned that the strike was capable of crippling the telecommunication sector, "which is neither in the best interest of the nation nor NITEL staff themselves."

Can you imagine this man? That the strike is capable of crippling the telecom sector when already everything is at a stand still right now? As from 4 p.m yesterday upto this moment i am sending this post, I have not been able to communication with anyone because there is no service on my phone.

I also have a starcomms line and the management of starcomms had to warn in advance via a text message that as a result of the strike we are likely going to experience epileptic service.

The workers down tools nationwide on Monday following the inability of Transcorp, the core investor in NITEL, to fulfill an earlier agreement with workers over unpaid salaries.

The workers had complained that Transcorp owed them five months salary arrears and allowances. They also accused Transcorp of failing to confirm the appointment of workers who had been on probation since November 2006, when the company acquired the 51 per cent equity of NITEL.

Transcorp Spokesman, Mr Adedayo Ojo in a statement on Tuesday, insisted that the strike was unnecessary. He claimed that the company paid over N500 million on Monday to offset part of the outstanding salaries.
However, Mr Charles Amankwe, President, National Association of Telecommunications Employees, said Transcorp only remitted money for a month's salary, in breach of their April 1 agreement.

As far as I am concern, the only language Nigerian businesses including the government understands is strike and if the issues of welfare are to be addressed. So I am going to bear this while I employ everyone trying to reach me to use the email facility.

This is the prize we all have to pay for things to move forward. God help Nigeria!

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