The Staff Union of the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) has asked the Federal Government to clarify its directive sending all the workers of the organisation to an indefinite leave.
Victor Onyebuchi, the Public Relations Officer of NERFUND Staff Union said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
Onyebuchi said that they wanted the status of the organisation to be defined following the directive by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“We want to know if the government wants to merge us with other sister organisation or has any plan for the organisation,” he said.
The Federal Government on Thursday issued a circular directing the immediate shutting down of the operations of the Fund.
The circular, signed by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Dutse, said that the organisation had been faced with some crisis that had crippled its operations in the last three weeks.
It further directed all staff to proceed on indefinite leave with immediate effect.
Onyebuchi said that the ministry had no constitutional right to seal the office, adding that it was only the National Assembly that had the power to do so.
He said that the union was considering taking the case to the National Assembly if dialogue with the management of the ministry on the issue failed to yield result.
He appealed to the government to recapitalise the fund to enable it achieve its mandate.
“NERFUND was established by an Act of Parliament in 1989, so for the last 16 years the organisation has been in limbo because of financial incapacitation. We have not had substantial board of the organisation for the past 16 years,” he said.
Onyebuchi said that as law abiding citizens most of the staff had proceeded on indefinite leave hoping to get positive response from the dialogue with the management of the ministry.
NAN reports that NERFUND was set up to provide medium to long term financing to viable Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
The objectives are to increase the quantum of goods and services available for local consumption and export, provide needed employment, expand the country’s production base and add value to the economy.