Category Archives: Jobs

Anambra Sacks Over 1000 Civil Servants Amidst 8 Years Controversial Salary Arrears

By Sunny A. David

Anambra State Government has confirmed the termination of appointment of the staff of the State moribund Water Board Corporation.

Our correspondent reports that the board, which was officially shutdown in 2012 had over 1000 staff out of which about 300 had died waiting for their unpaid entitlements running from January 2012 to date.

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 pasted last month at headquarters of the agency in Awka the State Capital, said their termination of appointments took effect from 2015.

It read, “The officers-in-charge, Anambra State Water Board Corporation (defunct), Awka. Formal notification of the termination of appointment of the erstwhile staff of the Anambra State Water Corporation.

“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confirmed the notice to our correspondent, said they were sacked in line with the Anambra State Water Law 2015 which repealed the edit establishing the agency and other general conduct of their staff.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 The letter is in line with the Anambra State Water Law 2015 that repealed the edit that established the water board.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.

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

Niger Delta Today

No teacher was sacked by Abia State Government – Commissioner

Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu had debunked claims that the state governor sacked 5 666 teachers from the State Civil Service.

In an Opinion authored by Kalu, and published earlier by this media, he explained that the 5,666 teachers were never employed by the state government, as there has been a long standing embargo on employment in the civil service.

He also stated that whereas some of the teachers were employed by the Parents Teachers Associations of various schools, with internal arrangements for their renumeration, many fell victim to fraudulent persons who claimed to be insiders in government and would help them become full civil servants.

His words “There is a long existing embargo on new employment in Abia State Civil Service and only the Governor of the state can validly issue a waiver to employ anyone or group of persons to fill any vacancy within the service.

“Every civil servant, no matter the level, is aware of this fact and its implication for those wishing to join the civil service: only a valid waiver, in this circumstance, from the Governor, or a lifting of the embargo by the Governor, can genuinely give employment.

“Between 2018 and March 2020, Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) hired some teachers ostensibly as PTA-teachers who were supposed to be paid by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of some schools that needed them to fill some vacancies. They were never meant to draw their wages from the civil service of the state as no budgetary provision was made for that purpose and the Governor never issued any employment waiver for their hiring.

“According to information released from the office of the Chief of Staff (COS) to the Governor, about 5,666 persons were involved in this PTA arrangement without the necessary employment waivers. None of them ever received wages from the state government, in line with the terms of their hiring by SEMB, whereas 187 teachers employed by sane SEMB with valid waivers within the same period were receiving wages from the state government.

“Nobody was sacked, please.

“Obviously, some unscrupulous persons took money from the PTA teachers and others in need of teaching jobs, and promised them full government employment as teachers whereas those involved knew they could only hire PTA teachers at the request of the schools. One of the affected persons told me she was made to part with thousands of naira and told to go and work as the Governor would ultimately be compelled to approve their full employment and authorize their salary payment from the state government coffers.

“That is a SCAM.

“When the Governor found out about this scam, he empaneled a committee to review what happened and report back to him. The committee’s report pointed to all sorts of malfeasance including extortion, deception, manipulation of records etc and the government decided to make public its position via relevant announcements regarding the illegality so that those affected would not fall into the venture of making false claims of being owed for some work supposedly done for the state government.

“In the announcement signed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere, government never claimed to have sacked any teacher because you simply can’t sack someone you never hired. None of the affected persons received any employment waiver from the Governor and those validly given waivers are continuing with their job.

“There are windows available to those PTA teachers and others: approach the schools where you were supposedly working to write the Commissioner for Education and request for your services as a teacher giving cogent reasons for the request with the letter copied to the COS. If the Honorable Commissioner finds merit in the request, he will recommend to the Governor for a waiver to be issued. Only the issuance of such waivers validates your employment with the state government. The other window is to wait for the state government to do a general audit of teachers in the state with a view to identifying where vacancies exist and fill same. According to the announcement, the government is ready to consider the 5,666 persons first, before others, to fill such gaps, if in existence.

“As per the argument that they met the then Commisioner for Education, please find out if they met him as newly employed teachers in the civil service or simply as PTA teachers”, he stated.

Abia’s 5,666 Teachers: You can’t sack someone you never hired-JOK

There is a long existing embargo on new employment in Abia State Civil Service and only the Governor of the state can validly issue a waiver to employ anyone or group of persons to fill any vacancy within the service.

Every civil servant, no matter the level, is aware of this fact and its implication for those wishing to join the civil service: only a valid waiver, in this circumstance, from the Governor, or a lifting of the embargo by the Governor, can genuinely give employment.

Between 2018 and March 2020, Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) hired some teachers ostensibly as PTA-teachers who were supposed to be paid by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of some schools that needed them to fill some vacancies. They were never meant to draw their wages from the civil service of the state as no budgetary provision was made for that purpose and the Governor never issued any employment waiver for their hiring.

According to information released from the office of the Chief of Staff (COS) to the Governor, about 5,666 persons were involved in this PTA arrangement without the necessary employment waivers. None of them ever received wages from the state government, in line with the terms of their hiring by SEMB, whereas 187 teachers employed by same SEMB with valid waivers within the same period were receiving wages from the state government.

Nobody was sacked, please.

Obviously, some unscrupulous persons took money from the PTA teachers and others in need of teaching jobs, and promised them full government employment as teachers whereas those involved knew they could only hire PTA teachers at the request of the schools. One of the affected persons told me she was made to part with thousands of naira and told to go and work as the Governor would ultimately be compelled to approve their full employment and authorize their salary payment from the state government coffers.

That is a SCAM.

When the Governor found out about this scam, he empaneled a committee to review what happened and report back to him. The committee’s report pointed to all sorts of malfeasance including extortion, deception, manipulation of records etc and the government decided to make public its position via relevant announcements regarding the illegality so that those affected would not fall into the venture of making false claims of being owed for some work supposedly done for the state government.

In the announcement signed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere, government never claimed to have sacked any teacher because you simply can’t sack someone you never hired. None of the affected persons received any employment waiver from the Governor and those validly given waivers are continuing with their job.

There are windows available to those PTA teachers and others: approach the schools where you were supposedly working to write the Commissioner for Education and request for your services as a teacher giving cogent reasons for the request with the letter copied to the COS. If the Honorable Commissioner finds merit in the request, he will recommend to the Governor for a waiver to be issued. Only the issuance of such waivers validates your employment with the state government. The other window is to wait for the state government to do a general audit of teachers in the state with a view to identifying where vacancies exist and fill same. According to the announcement, the government is ready to consider the 5,666 persons first, before others, to fill such gaps, if in existence.

As per the argument that they met the then Commisioner for Education, please find out if they met him as newly employed teachers in the civil service or simply as PTA teachers.

Thank you.

-JOK(Honourable Commissioner for Information, Abia State)

Gov Ikpeazu sacks Abia SEMB Executive Secretary, drops 5,666 teachers over employment waiver

Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, the Governor of Abia State, has ordered the compulsory retirement of the Executive Secretary of Secondary Education Management Board, SEMB, Lawrence Ogbonna, who was on suspension.

The governor also said that 5,666 teachers who were wrongly employed without waiver by the Secretary be dropped from the state’s employment register.

The Governor’s directive was contained in a press release by his Chief of Staff, Barrister Anthony Agbazuere, on Wednesday, after receiving the report of the Committee on the supposed employment without waiver at the Secondary Education Management Board, SEMB.

In the release, Governor Ikpeazu noted the submissions of the Committee to the effect that out of the 5,853 people said to have been employed between 2018 to 2020, only 187 people were employed with a waiver, leaving the rest 5,666 people as employed without the waiver.

“In case, any of the 5,666 people employed without a waiver, was asked to start work by anybody, such a person should stop forthwith, having been so employed unlawfully.

“Schools that have a need for teachers in some special areas should make their submissions to the Commissioner for Education and copy the Chief of Staff to the Governor.

“That whenever there is such need to employ teachers, the government shall take recourse to the list of 5,666 people for employment”.

Air Peace sacks over 70 pilots, cuts salaries by 40%

Air Peace has sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet types as the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a huge toll on its operations.

The airline said it had to take the “painful but rightful” decision in the face of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health.

It said the job erasure for pilots amongst it over 3000 staff became imperative because it could not afford to continue fulfill its financial obligations without carrying out restructuring of its entire operations to survive the times.

Besides, the carrier said the painful decision was to keep its operations afloat after it carried out a raft of measures including cut of zero to 40 per cent in the salaries of staff.

In a statement in Lagos on Monday, the airline management said such move was critical to sustain its operations and survive the times.

The statement reads: “This decision is inevitable under the circumstances we find ourselves. In order to protect the continuity of majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in future, the survival of the airline is of paramount importance. When everything comes back to normal those pilots affected today will have a place to come back to in future if they so wish.

“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period.

“Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff. The new salaries reflect zero to 40 per cent cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff.

“Even after the cuts, it was obvious for us to be able to sustain our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.”