Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has reversed the sadden sack of 568 workers of Delta Line Transport Services Limited by the new management of the transport company, God is Good Motors.
The reversal is coming hours after BigPen Online had exclusively reported that the Good Is Good Motors (GIGM) and the state government had disengaged the workers to dodge payment of their outstanding gratuities and other entitlements.
Recalls that workers of Delta Line had since Tuesday laid siege to all the company’s offices across the state to protest their controversial retrenchment without condition for payment of their gratuities spelled out in the disengagement letter.
In an earlier exclusive story by this medium, we had reported that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration, following a recommendation by David Edevbie Committee on privatization had planned to disengaged some certain category of workers in Delta Line to allow the Ajaere family – owners and managers of one of the most successful passenger carrier companies in Nigeria, GIGM.com, (God is Good Motors) have a smooth takeoff in the running of the transport company.
We also reported that the state government which claimed to have 40 percent equity share in the company had initially planned to disengage only those they claimed where above 60 years of age, or those who have worked for 30 years and above or 55 years old including those that are sick, frail and those with more than 3 queries in their files with fraudulent cases from the nominal pay roll of Delta Line before the takeover by GIGM.
This proactive investigative medium also reported that for reason BigPen Online couldn’t immediately verified, the Okowa-led government approved the total sack of all the workers including the 120 staff that were in category “E” and penciled down as those that would be reassessed to work with God Is Good Motors.
Similarly, we had reported quoting a credible source who queried that if Okowa-led government claimed they still have 40 percent shares in the company, why should GIGM be the one issuing sack letters to employees that they didn’t employed.
In the same vein, earlier report by BigPen Online says management of GIGM hurriedly issued the sack letters to the workers, thus undermining the agreed stipulated category of workers to layoff ostensibly because they were trying to evade payment of June salaries.
Confirming our report Wednesday night, our often reliable source in Government House disclosed that the Governor has given order for the immediate reversal of the sack of Delta Line workers.
According to the source, the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Vincent Uduaghan and his counterpart in Finance, Mr. David Edevbie were directed today to inform the executives of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) of state government decision.
The reversal, however was to enable the David Edevbie-led Committee on privatization to determine and issue letters to those who have been categorized to leave the system.
BigPen Online was told that the state government privatization committee was not properly consulted by GIGM before issuing the botched sack letters to all the workers.
Our source disclosed that the state government agreed to our earlier report that the process of disengagement should come from the government and not Good Is Good Motors (GIGM).
The state government was also going to pay June salary and have asked everyone to go back to their duty post, the source added.
The source also hinted that part of the recommendations of the Edevbie-led Committee on privatization was the reason as earlier reported why Governor Okowa released fund for the payment of the 2015 backlog salaries which was as from July, August, September and October, and 2018 salaries which started from February, March, April, May respectively, totally about N199million through the Directorate of Transport Account in Zenith bank.
Story by Julius Eras-Olabowu