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Anambra State Sacks Over 1000 Workers Amidst COVID-19

From Ignatius Okpara, Awka

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The governor Obiano led administration in  Anambra State, South- East Nigeria,  has confirmed the termination of appointment of over 1000  staffers  of the State moribund Water Board Corporation, amid hardship occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

African Examiner reports that the board, which was officially shutdown by the state government in 2012, had no fewer than 1000 workers out of which about 300 had reportedly died while waiting for their unpaid entitlements running from January 2012 to 2020.

According to a notice from the State Ministry of Public Utilities dated December 27, 2019, signed by one Rev. Dr. P. C. Amanzechukwu (for Commissioner of the Ministry) but was reportedly posted recently  at headquarters of the agency in Awka the State Capital, said their termination of appointments took effect from 2015.

It reads:  “I am directed to refer to the Executive Council’s directive of December 9, 2019 and to formally convey the notification of the termination of appointment of the erstwhile staff of the defunct water corporation with effect from June 2, 2015 based in the cumulative effects of the Anambra State water supply and sanitation Law 2015 and reorganisation of the State’s water policy.

“Please advice the staff to report to the Ministry to collect their letter and take necessary steps to protect the moveable and immovable assets of the company.”

The State Commissioner for Public Utilities and Water Resources, Engr. Emeka Ezenwanne, who confirmed the development  to newsmen Thursday in Awka, said they were sacked in line with the Anambra State Water Law 2015 which repealed the edict establishing the agency and other general conduct of their staff.

“Anambra State government under Governor Willie Obiano is a law-abiding government. Yes, we have issued letter of termination to the former staff of Anambra State Water Board Corporation. The letter is in line with the Anambra State Water Law 2015 that repealed the edict that established the water board.

“Again, they have not come up to account for the money they took from the state government account through garnishing. EFCC is currently investigating it.

“They were sacked due to their general conduct which is affecting the entire process including the unbundling processes stated in the 2015 Anambra State Water Law. After the garnishing, they have continued to make other efforts we don’t know what they are up to,” Engr. Ezenwanne added.

He said the State government was still providing water to the populace through Urban Water Supply and others.

Reacting to the development, a retired staff of the defunct water corporation, Mr. Hilary Izuagu, said they were still employees of the State Civil Service, adding that the State government was owing them from January 2012 to July 2020 and still counting.

Mr. Izuagu, who urged the State government to abide by all the provisions in the Anambra State Water and Sanitation Law 2015 and other extant laws of the land while dealing with them.

He stated that the money the agency took through garnishing were paid to their deserving staff accordingly, adding that he was unaware that EFCC was investigating its disbursement.

Our correspondent gathered that the affected workers are considering a legal action against the state government should it fail to do the needful, by paying them all their entitlement and reabsorb into other ministries or departments.


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