Normalcy has returned to the federal Ministry of Works, as the minister, David Umahii has apologised to the members of staff and promised to improve their welfare.
According to The Nation, the minister, at about 8 a.m. on Thursday, September 28, locked the entrance to the ministry against workers who arrived late for work.
The staff, however, complained that although the actions of the Minister were not totally wrong, they were not given prior notice before the “tyrannical” action.
Earlier, a staff member who spoke with The Nation, and chose to be anonymous, stated that aside from the high cost of transportation, he and a lot of staff live in areas that are a long distance from the ministry.
Some of the places they stay, according to him, are Keffi, Kwali, Bwari, Kaduna road, Gwagwalada, among others.
The Nation reports that during the heat of the protest, the Minister decided to open up the entrance to the Ministry, but the workers chose to remain outside, demanding an apology from the minister.
They also blocked the entrance to the Ministry with staff buses, and stopped anyone, including the minister, from coming out or going in.
They insisted that the minister must address them and give his “unreserved” apology.
It would be recalled that on Tuesday, September 26, Umahi issued a stern warning to the Staff of the ministry, particularly the directors during a briefing, stating that most were complicit in the substandard quality of roads by contractors across the country.
He, therefore, stressed that any worker working against the efforts of the government to deliver the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would be shown the way out.
He also warned the staff members against joining the planned nationwide indefinite strike by labour.
Following the protest, Umahi addressed the staff members and promised to improve their welfare, particularly as most complained about the high cost of transportation and the distance of the ministry from their residence.
The minister also asked to meet with the staff to better understand their plight and rightly intervene by providing more staff buses, among other interventions.