According to the source, “the current action of the governor, which not only came on the heels of last Wednesday’s labour protest in Owerri, headed by the National President of Nigerian
Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, is also closely linked with the recent obnoxious form which the administration forced Imo workers to sign before collecting their unpaid salaries.”
Confirming the report, Sir Jude Ejiogu, the secretary to the Government of Imo state, listed those include in the sack-web.
They include: 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, and 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.
According to him, the reason behind the sack followed the months of probe that showed that the workers were not contributing any meaningful thing to the growth of the state.
Ejiogu added that: “Government is satisfied that it is no longer in 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 to 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 affected staff are expected to handover all government property in their possession to their chief executives within 48 hours.”
Agencies of government which staff narrowly escaped Okorocha’s action 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.
Leadership reports that the affected workers were about about 5,000 from 19 parastatals and agencies and are yet to reach their retirement.
This is the second time Governor Okorocha would be sacking civil servants in the state after he had in June 2011 sacked 10,000 workers recruited by the administration of former Governor Ikedi Ohakim.
He was last month slammed over reports that he approved N600 million for this year’s Christmas and New Year decorations.
This bashing came from former deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, who is said to be in shock over the reported approval.