Rochas Sacks Hundreds In Imo, Tension Builds

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has sacked hundreds of workers in 19 parastatals, agencies and departments, even as their salaries had been stopped with effect from Monday, January 4, 2016.

The governor’s action is coming on the heels of last Wednesday’s protest in Owerri, by the Nigerian Labour Congress.

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 action The Whistler learnt has further polarised the relationship between the state government and organised labour as source at the national headquarters of the NLC said labour will respond appropriately in due course.

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