• Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Controversy Surrounds Swift Settlement of Emoluments for Dismissed LWC Staff


May 13, 2024

A significant dispute has emerged following the Lagos State Government’s quick compensation to dismissed employees of the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC). The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) and the Renevlyn Development Initiative (RDI) have accused the government of using the settlements as a diversion from more severe issues within the corporation.

According to a recent statement by the LWC, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration has completed payments of all due emoluments for periods extending from August 2011 through December 2016, and up to the present, including accrued rights of the corporation’s retirees until December 2022. While the LWC has praised these efforts as a relief to the affected staff, AUPCTRE and RDI argue that these actions might be preemptively undermining ongoing legal and legislative processes.

Abiodun Bakare, Secretary of AUPCTRE’s Lagos State Chapter, expressed concerns over the timing of the payments, labeling them as an attempt to bypass the due legislative review of the staff’s abrupt terminations. Bakare highlighted that the dismissal of 391 staff was not only abrupt but lacked a lawful procedure, prompting protests and demands for legislative intervention.

“The Lagos State House of Assembly has already taken up the matter and plans to meet with our leadership. Rushing into settlements at this point undermines this process,” Bakare stated.

Philip Jakpor, Executive Director of RDI, also criticized the government’s rapid action, suggesting it might be a tactic to suppress further investigation into the longstanding financial mismanagement allegations against the corporation’s management dating back to 1999. Jakpor insisted that the real issue at hand was not redundancy but mismanagement and understaffing that have plagued the LWC for years.

“The celebratory tone of the LWC’s statement on the settlement and the continuous push for privatization reveal underlying motives that do not align with public interest,” Jakpor added.

Both AUPCTRE and RDI are urging the Lagos State House of Assembly to continue its scrutiny without yielding to pressure from the executive branch. They demand a full reinstatement of the dismissed workers, a thorough investigation into all water contracts awarded since 1999, the blacklisting of faulty contractors, and a halt to the ongoing privatization of water services in Lagos.

The controversy highlights ongoing tensions between government actions and labor unions’ and civic groups’ calls for transparency and accountability in public service management, particularly in essential services like water supply. The outcome of the legislative review could significantly impact the future of water management and labor relations in Lagos.

By admin

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