Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is yet to settle salary arrears and benefits to workers of Delta Steel Company (DSC), Aladja, Delta State, the workers of the firm have said.
The employees said this was contrary to the speculations in some quarters that they have been fully paid.
The workers in a statement signed on their behalf by Mr. John Okari noted that since October 2011 till this moment, staff affected by the retrenchment exercise is yet to get their full payments.
The statement said: “No staff can categorically state what percentage or proportion of the total arrears/benefits has been paid so far as to whether it is 22.5 percent or 25 percent. AMCON conducted a staff audit of the salary arrears, benefits, gratuities translating to N3.2 billion covering October, 2011 through May 2012 when AMCON came to take over the company. However, since October 2011 till this moment, no staff has been given any form of letter of retirement, retrenchment, dismissal, rationalization, or downsizing. This simply implies that all staff salaries, benefits, PFA staff monthly savings are ongoing but AMCON did not handle it this way”.
According to the statement, AMCON has refused to capture and pay staff back their unremitted PFA monthly pension savings from their meagre salaries, staff gratuities, death benefits to the proxies of late staff, their co-operative funds, shareholding of staff and so on. Various bodies including the NLC, Delta State Government Committee on DSC Affairs, local unions (ISSSAN/SEWUN), elders and pressure groups had intervened to no avail. Several meetings had been scheduled by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity to resolve the issues involved but both AMCON/Premium Steel and Mines Limited absented themselves from all these meetings.
Continuing, the statement said: “The outstanding 75 percent or 77.5 percent of the N3.2 billion cannot just be wished away by DSC staff. Some of the implications of AMCON’s posturing on this issue include the death of several staff, so many children of staff dropping out of school, since fee payment had gone beyond their reach, teenage/adult prostitution, hooliganism, cultism, drug experimentation and addiction, insanity from frustrations, robberies and youth radicalism have taken the centre stage.
Through this medium, the attention of all Nigerians is sought by DSC workers for intervention as all previous efforts have not yielded any positive result for them”.
“If AMCON had no sinister motives, why did she conduct the fragmented payment exercise in Peemos Hotel in Warri instead of Steel Township where the audit exercise was peacefully conducted in 2015? Why was staff not communicated through any communication medium formally about his payment exercise? Why are there so many discrepancies in the computation as staff on the same salary grade level were paid different amounts? Why was the exercise conducted and supervised by Dr. Joseph Nwobike’s cronies who flew the kite of this exercise way back in November, 20157. AMCON did not negotiate any 25 percent of the total N3.2 billion workers outstanding dues as “full and final payment” with the ISSSAN and SEWUN who are the legal/recognized workers unions and if he did, he should tender proof or evidence to the effect.