Workers At Nigerian Defence Corporation, DICON Protest Against Non-Payment Of Allowances, Salary Arrears, Others

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One of the employees said that the protest was due to unresolved issues regarding unpaid allowances and salary arrears and many others.

Staff of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) in Kaduna State on Tuesday staged a protest over the non-payment of their allowances and salary arrears.

The staff were seen media with banners conveying their messages to the management, which included; “Enrollment into IPPIS, ” “Payment of our 6months palatives,” “Payment of 2019 minimum wage arrears,” “Stop lopsided payment of allowance,” “Payment of 2022 and 2023 promotion arrears.”

One of the employees media that the protest was due to unresolved issues regarding unpaid allowances and salary arrears and many others.

“In a turn of events, the corporation’s management has deliberately set fire to one of its unused factory buildings (identified as G3) in the complex that is heavily guarded by military personnel the night before our protest.

“The fire might have been used as a tactic to accuse us and divert public and media attention away from our grievances. 

“The protest highlighted ongoing tensions between the staff and management, as we are demanding the president to intervene in these issues and direct our immediate enrolment into IPPIS and immediate settlement of our unpaid allowances,” the staff added. 

Media had reported that staff members of DICON in Kaduna State threatened a protest following the government’s failure to pay the N35,000 wage award it promised for six months.

Some staff members of DICON told SaharaReporters that they had not received payment for any month since the programme began in September 2023, while all other civil servants had been paid for the six months.

They had also expressed worry over the non-payment of their 2019 minimum wage arrears that had been cleared by the federal government.

However, DICON in a statement signed by Musa Yakubu, its Chief Public Relations Officer had confirmed the complaints but said the issues were being resolved.

He said, “Before the assumption of the present Director General, there were indeed outstanding allowances and entitlements owed to the staff by the Federal Government. However, proactive measures were taken to address these issues.

“Efforts were diligently made to engage relevant government bodies, resulting in the clearance and disbursement of outstanding payments, including the 40% Peculiar Allowance for January to December 2023, 2020 promotion arrears, and 2021 promotion arrears.

“Additionally, our hardworking staff have been recompensed with applicable work-related allowances that have greatly lifted the morale of our working staff.

“Records of such incentive allowances paid to our Management and Staff as recent as February 2024, can be made available to Sahara Reporters or any such media houses, that believe in conscientiously reporting the facts in the true spirit of journalism, and not in circulating misguided news to our noble reading public. 

“Moreover, continuous efforts are being made to ensure that all remaining outstanding allowances and entitlements, such as the 35,000 palliative promised by the Federal Government are settled promptly. DICON Management has consistently maintained open communication channels with staff, holding several meetings to provide updates on progress and address concerns on matters affecting staff welfare which include pay and allowances.

“Additionally, correspondence has been sent to pertinent government agencies, advocating for the settlement of outstanding payments, including the 2019 minimum wage arrears and the six-month N35,000 wage award.”

It further said, “While protests and strikes are not endorsed under the DICON Act, constructive and proactive engagement with staff and constant dialogue remains a cornerstone of our approach in DICON.

“These have been the bane of our growing success story in the last few months, even as DICON cranks again its machine and resumes production of military hardware for our country Nigeria.

“At DICON, fostering a harmonious and cordial relationship between management and staff is paramount. We are dedicated to upholding our vision of being a corporation built on a sound commercial footing, meeting the highest international standards in arms and ammunition production.”

 Meanwhile, some DICON staff members who spoke with SaharaReporters on Monday described the management’s statement as blatant lies, noting that the management had never carried them along.

One of them said, “While other federal workers are been paid allowances and some emoluments as and when due, DICON’s case has been different due to the level of corruption in the system and the mother ministry (Ministry of Defence). This is the reason why they have not allowed us to join IPPIS.

“Also, the issue of communication between the management and staff are all lies. The management has never carried staff along with emoluments and other benefits. The staff members beg for memos that never come.

“At the moment, there has never been any memo to staff as regards our 2019 minimum wage and our six-month wage award.”

“DICON staff members do not know which allowance they are being paid as the record on their pay slip is mischievous because they say ‘peculiar’ was added to an existing medical allowance and recorded as medical allowance,” another worker said. 

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