More than 50 members of staff of the Nigerian High Commission in London have reportedly been dismissed from its service.
In a letter dated November 22, 2018 and signed by the First Secretary and Head of Chancery, Helen Nzeako, on behalf of the Mission, the decision was due to directives from Headquarters to restructure its operations for efficiency and productivity.
She explained that the decision to reduce staff strength is an act of compliance with the approved ceilings in Nigeria's Missions abroad. While the date of termination was noted to have been effected from January 1, 2018, the termination date was set at December 21, 2018.
"I am directed to inform that the High Commission in its efforts to restructure its operations for efficiency and productivity, taking into consideration the budgetary constraints, as well as Headquarters directives to reduce the staff strength and comply with the approved ceilings in our Missions abroad, has decided to terminate your appointment notionally with effect from 1st January, 2018," the letter read.
Nzeako assured in the letter that necessary arrangements have been made to pay entitlements, including the one month's notice during which the affected staff members are expected to work.
"I am also to emphasise that this letter hereby supercedes any other letter of contract appointments or renewal of appointment issued earlier by the High Commission," the letter affirmed.
Nzeako also noted in the letter that any member of staff who is interested in continuing to serve the Mission beyond December may wish to apply for a contract appointment.
Dismissal generates discontent
According to a report by Vanguard, the termination was a reaction to relentless outcry from the staff members who have not been paid their salaries for most of the year.
"We want the world to see how we are been ill-treated just because we asked for our salaries. This is so unfair and an injustice to democratic rule," a source told Vanguard.