The Anambra State government, yesterday, confirmed the sack of no fewer than 800 employees of the state moribund Water Board Corporation.
State Commissioner for Public Utilities and Water Resources, Emeka Ezenwanne, who confirmed the development in Awka, said the affected workers were sacked in line with the Anambra State Water Law 2015, which repealed the law establishing the agency.
Insisting that the affected personnel were also sacked over their general conduct, Ezenwanne said government had issued termination letters to them, pointing out that the Governor Willie Obiano government was a law-abiding administration.
He disclosed that the affected employees had not accounted for the money they took from the state government’s account through garnishee, saying, “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the matter.”
“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.”
Ezenwanne maintained that the state government was still providing water to the people of the state through urban water supply and others.
However, a notice from the state ministry of public utilities dated December 27, 2019 and endorsed by Dr. P. C. Amanzechukwu at the agency’s headquarters in Awka indicated that the termination of their appointments took effect from 2015.
“I am directed to refer to the Executive Council’s directive of December 9, 2019 and formally convey the notification of the termination of appointment of the erstwhile staff of the corporation with effect from June 2, 2015 based in the cumulative effects of the state water supply and sanitation Law 2015 and reorganisation of the state’s water policy.
“The staff members are advised to report to the ministry to collect their letters and take necessary steps to protect the moveable and immovable assets of the company,” the memo stated.
But in his reaction, a retired employee of the water corporation, Hilary Izuagu, said they remained workers of the state civil service, adding 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.
The corporation, which had over 1,000 employees, was officially shutdown in 2012, while the workers were still awaiting their unpaid entitlements from January 2012 to date.