Union threatens suit over comments against members
The Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN) and the Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN) have condemned comments made that their staffs in Ajaokuta are paid for doing nothing.
The General Secretary of the ISSSAN, Titus Orimijupa while addressing journalists in Abuja during a briefing said the comments made by the Director General of the National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC) Jos, Ibrahim Madugu are “ignoble, malicious and self-serving ” against their members and therefore requesting that he publish a retraction of the offensive remarks within one week or face litigation.
Quoting Professor Madugu where he said in the published interview that “over 2000 people are there with no work to do but are paid salaries”, the Union emphasized that they “have reasons to tell Nigerians that the role of some highly placed Nigerians on the case of Ajaokuta Steel Company is not only sad, but can best be described as sabotage to a good cause”.
Orimijupa said Madugu who was part of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) set up by government to manage ASC did not achieve any success for the three years he was there before “landing himself” his present job.
While pointing out that two years after the IMC left, workers and the current management have been able to reactivate the 110mw thermal power plant as well as have “recovered spare parts that Madugu Interim Committee allegedly abandoned at the Lagos ports and refused to do anything, hoping that they will get government money to use as they liked.”
The unions, accused the IMC of wasting N52 million released by then minister of steel to revive the plant adding that Madugu has severally sent samples of coking coal from NMDC Jos to ASC for analysis, asking if those who did the laboratory tests were idle.
They said workers have upgraded the central technical archives of the company, which had been in the works for 18 years, saying, “the same workers have been ingenious at rehabilitation works at the Light Section Mill and Power Plant, all of which means value addition to the steel plant.
“In his desperation to create an empire for himself, we do know as a fact that professor Madugu had at one time called for the scrapping of Ajaokuta but was ignored…most of the IMC were never in Ajaokuta but were going about their private business almost abandoning the plant to the workers he is now describing as idle, who did not allow the Ajaokuta Steel Plant to go under.”
To this end, the Secretary who was accompanied by the President of SEWUN Umaru Ogbuade and Otiri Malik of ISSSAN restated the resolve of the body to take Madugu to court if he fails to retract the ignoble and offensive” comments within one week, as their members are working hard to add value in the economy.
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