By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has sacked scores of the workers in 19 parastatals, agencies and departments, even as their salaries had been stopped with effect from Monday, January 4, 2016.
Vanguard gathered that the current action of the Governor, came on the heels of last Wednesday’s protest in Owerri, by the Nigerian Labour Congress, headed by factional National President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba.
It was also gathered that the governor’s action is closely linked to the recent form which the administration forced Imo workers to sign before collecting their unpaid salaries.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Sir Jude Ejiogu, the workers caught in the sack-web includes the Imo Water Corporation, Imo Cattle Market, Imo Sports Council, Imo State Environmental Transformation Commission, ENTRACO, Imo Marketing Company, Imo Consumer Protection Council, Hospital Management Board, including its headquarters staff.
Others are Imo Tourism Board, Imo Blue Lake of Treasure, Imo State Investment Promotion Agency, Imo Job Centre, Imo Water Development Agency, IWADA, Imo Library Board, Imo Agricultural Loans Board, Imo Livestock, Imo Poverty Alleviation Agency, Imo Palm Plantation, Agricultural Development Programme, ADP and Small Holders Unit.
Government explained that the action followed what it called “a productivity audit recently conducted in the parastatals, agencies and departments.”
The release further stated that “government is satisfied that it is no longer in the public interest to keep running these agencies, parastatals and departments with huge cost on public revenue and no services to the public, under the present economic realities”.
Government promised that the affected workers would be communicated in due course, about the administration’s next line of action regarding possible re-engagement, after the on-going concessioning exercise affecting the agencies, departments and parastatals.
The release, which ordered the affected staff to handover all government property in their possession to their chief executives within 48 hours, however added that civil servants on secondment to any of the affected agencies, parastatals and agencies, are deployed to their parent ministries.
Vanguard equally gathered that the other agencies of government whose staff narrowly escaped Okorocha’s sledgehammer were the Secondary Education Management Board, State Universal Education Board, General Hospital Okigwe, General Hospital Aboh Mbaise, Imo Essential Drugs, Specia Education Centre Orlu and School of the Deaf and Dumb, Orodo.
Others are Zoological Garden, Owerri, Logara Mbaise Remand Home, Government House Clinic, Imo Broadcasting Corporation, IBC, Project Finance Management Unit, Financo Brokers, Heartland Football Club and Imo College of Advanced Professional Studies, ICAPS, Owerri.