Over 1000 staff of the moribund Anambra State Water Board Corporation have been sacked by the state government over what the authority called dishonesty in managing the funds of the corporation.
The State Commissioner for Public Utility and Water Resources, Emeka Ezenwanne, who disclosed this while confirming the sack letter before newsmen at his office in Awka, on Thursday, said that the workers were sacked because they could not transparently account how the funds accrued to the corporation have been used.
The Commissioner accused the management of mismanaging funds and failure to deliver on their mandates to the good people of Anambra State.
“The water corporation itself has gone down the drain, no production because of the embezzlement attitude of the management,” Ezenwanne frowned.
“Again, they have not come up to account for the money they took from the state government account.”
He said the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating to unveil the true picture of things in the corporation.
“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,” Ezenwanne added.
He maintained that the state government was still providing potable water across the 179 communities through urban water supply and others.
He warned other agencies attached to the ministry to work in line with the vision of the present administration of Governor Willie Obiano, in his continued effort to better the lives of Anambra people or face a similar challenge.
Reacting, a retired staff of the defunct water corporation, Mr Hilary Izuagu, said those affected 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.
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, explained that the money the agency took through garnishing was paid to deserving staff accordingly, adding that he was unaware that EFCC was investigating its disbursement.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the board which was officially shut down in 2012 had over 1,000 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 directly of 9th December 2019 and to formally convey the notification of the termination of appointment of the erstwhile staff of the defunct water corporation with effect from 2nd June 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 advise 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.”
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