Why NLC opposed clock-in machine for Borno workers – Chairman

Please share

The signing in on the clock-in attendance machine by local government workers to register their presence at their workplaces daily in Borno State has now been restricted to only the LG chairmen, councillors and other staff from Grade Level 12 and above.

The state governor, Babagana Zulum, had, while swearing the newly elected local council chairmen last January 29, directed the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to install the biometric capture attendance machine to enable him to monitor and ensure the presence of the LG workers at their workplaces every working day throughout the state.

He had, especially, seriously complained that most of the local council chairmen lodged in hotels in the Maiduguri metropolis rather than staying in their respective LG headquarters with the people they lead.

However, the sign-in attendance machine issue drew the ire of the state’s branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress, which saw it as an attempt to punish the LG workers who, the NLC argued, lacked the wherewithal to travel from wherever they are residing or working to the LG headquarters to sign in before proceeding to their respective workplaces.

“We had argued that it would not be possible for most of the staff who are from Grade Level 10 to the lowest level,” the state Chairman of the NLC, Yusuf Inuwa, told The PUNCH on Monday.

“Most of the LG workers, such as teachers and medical and health workers, are not resident at the LG headquarters where they can just walk in and sign in; they are sparse in their various workplaces in villages many kilometres away from the headquarters,” he reasoned, querying, “with the current minimum wage, how would you expect them to observe this daily routine from wherever they are?”

Inuwa declared: “We resolved this issue with the ministry recently; that is why the clock-in attendance machine has now been restricted to only the LG chairmen, councillors and staff from Grade Level 12 and above.”

The Director of Local Affairs at the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ahmed Umar, confirmed to The PUNCH that “For now, only the LG chairmen, councillors and workers from Grade Level 12 and above are to sign in on the attendance machine.”

He said, “In due course, on the assessment and satisfaction of the governor, the directive may be extended to other LG staff from Grade Level 11 downwards, and suitable devices may be introduced for workers at locations from the LG headquarters for them to register their presence at their workplaces without having to come to the headquarters.”

The director disclosed, “The installation of the attendance machines commenced last February 28. I can confidently tell you that the contractors have covered 80 per cent of the LGAs.

“In fact, we are expecting their report any moment from now, which we will forward to the governor because he has been expecting it.”

Umar said the installation contract includes training of staff to operate the machines.

“After the installation of the machine at each LG headquarters, the LG chairman will then deploy any staff of, say ICT department, for the contractors to train on the operation of the machine.”

An anonymous middle-cadre worker at the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council welcomed the installation of the clock-in machines.

“It would gradually ensure that all workers are actually at their workplaces every working day to earn their pay, not just defraud the government by collecting what they have actually not worked for at month-end,” he said.

He queried, “With the chairman, councillors and heads of departments physically present at their workplaces, who are you, as a junior worker, to be absent?”

He believed that the attendance machine signing in would now herd workers back to their various workplaces at the LGs, which hitherto used to have few workers until payday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *