The Anambra State government has confirmed the sack of no fewer than 800 employees of the state moribund Water Board Corporation.
Confirming this development in Awka, the State Commissioner for Public Utilities and Water Resources, Emeka Ezenwanne, said the affected workers were sacked in line with the Anambra State Water Law 2015, which repealed the law establishing the agency.
Ezenwanne also stated that the affected personnel were sacked over their ‘general conduct,’ adding that the government had issued termination letters to them which he said is in line with the relevant provisions of the law
“They were sacked due to their general conduct, which is affecting the unbundling processes started through the 2015 law. After the garnishee, they continued to make other underhand moves and we don’t know what they are up to.”
Also Part of the reasons for this sack according to Ezenwanne is that the affected persons refused to account for monies they collected from the state government’s account through garnishee, saying, “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is already investigating the matter.”
Ezenwanne maintained that the state government was still providing water to the people of the state through urban water supply and others.
A retired employee of the water corporation, Hilary Izuagu while reacting to the sack, said they remained workers of the state civil service, noting that the state government was still owing them from January 2012 to July 2020.
He urged the state government to abide by the provisions in the water and sanitation law 2015 and other extant laws, while dealing with them.
It was reported that the corporation was formally shutdown in 2012 while the workers were still awaiting payment of their entitlements from January of 2012.
However, a look at the current situation of unemployment in Nigeria aggravated by COVID-19 pandemic makes one to wonder if the government’s action is not ill timed. The rate of unemployment in Nigeria according to NBC is about 23.10 percent from 16.6 percent recorded in the previous year.