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I Have No Hand In Plot To Redeploy Perm Sec, Says Trade Minister

Oluwasina Phillip

The Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo has distanced himself from the demand by civil servants in the ministry to redeploy the Permanent Secretary.

The protest, which started at about 10am caught many of the visitors of the ministry who had come there to carry out business transactions unawares.

The workers in their hundreds were seen chanting various solidarity songs as well as carrying placards with various inscriptions.

Speaking to journalists during the protest, the Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council in the Ministry, Comrade Onwuyai Okonkwo, said the protest became imperative following series of consultations and intervention with staff on the state of affairs in the Ministry since August 2021 when the current Permanent Secretary assumed duty in the Ministry.

He said since assumption of office of the current Permanent Secretary, the Ministry has been in a deplorable state of affairs evidenced by low workers morale and poor service delivery.

Reacting to the position of the workers, Adebayo in a telephone interview distanced himself from the plot to remove the Permanent Secretary.

The Minister said he has no hands in sponsoring the Union as he has a very wonderful relationship with the Permanent Secretary, noting that there is no reason for him to facilitate her removal from office.

Adebayo also debunked the allegation that he was behind every negative occurrence at the ministry, claiming that if he wanted to sponsor the removal of anyone, he will not do it through the Union but go straight to the Head of Service of the Federation to make such request.

The Minister, however, noted that he has a cordial relationship with all the Permanent Secretaries he has ever worked.

On his recent walk out of the Union from a meeting to broker peace with the Permanent Secretary, the Minister said it was very important for him to do so because the Union was giving him deadline and terms for removing the Permanent Secretary.

While stating that he has no power to do, the Minister called on the Union to Channel its grievances appropriately to the right quarters instead of involving him.

He advised the Union to find a middle ground to resolving the lingering feud.

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