Monday, May 17, 2021

Embattled Pantami promises better pay for NIMC staff

The minister made the promise despite increasing calls by opposition party PDP and others for him to vacate office.

• April 20, 2021
Isa Pantami
Isa Pantami

Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has assured staff of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) of an improved salary scale.

Mr Pantami disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, when the board and management of NIMC paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

“We are working on the new salary scale approved by the Salaries and Wages Commission, as we make efforts to ensure an improved budget for 2021.

“I have furnished President Muhammadu Buhari with all the challenges faced by NIMC because the President said we must get NIN right as we cannot continue to estimate our population and for national planning.

“We will make sure the agency delivers on its mandate. We need to do more for NIMC,” he said.

The minister made the promise despite increasing calls by opposition party PDP and others for him to vacate office after he was exposed to have propagated extremist ideology as an Islamic preacher years ago.

Mr Pantami was seen and heard in videos and audio clips declaring support for terrorist organisations al-Queda and the Taliban. He also declared killing of infidels excited him, positions he now claims he has jettisoned having come of age. He told Peoples Gazette he has Christians aides to demonstrate his now liberal stance 

Earlier, Bello Gwandu, acting chairman of NIMC governing board, who led the team, thanked the minister for his innovations and also informed him of the challenges faced by the commission.

Mr Gwandu, however, said that the actualisation and implementation of an enhanced salary structure for staff of the commission should commensurate with government agencies in the same Information Technology sector.

He also said that provision and release of funds would address the huge infrastructural requirements of the commission.

The acting chairman noted that the commission had been grappling with these challenges, which in spite of the concerted efforts to address these issues had not made a headway.

“We are here to convey to you our unreserved appreciation of what you have been doing since the transfer of the supervision of the activities of NIMC to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

“The welfare of staff of the commission has been brought to the front-burner and attention of the Federal Government owing to your relentless drive to see a paradigm shift to their general working conditions.

“It shows you have the interest of our NIMC workforce at heart, and you understand and appreciate the magnitude of the commission’s mandate to the Nigerian people.

“We do this because of our firm belief in you as a technocrat with a very good grasp of the importance of digital identification in our country,” he said.

Mr Gwandu further said that the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage was yet another project that spoke volumes of the acting chairman’s unflinching resolve to sanitise and harmonise the silos of databases in the country.

“Let me say again for the purpose of emphasis, that as a commission, we never exuded such overwhelming relevance and have not been this connected to the Nigerian people like we have since you took over as our supervisory minister,” he added. 

(NAN)

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