Obasanjo Presidential Library Lays off Workers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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By Kayode Fasua

Citing financial crisis occasioned by the continued lockdown aimed at curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus disease, the management of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) has laid off several of its workers.
But informed sources within the outfit belonging to former President Olusegun Obasanjo also disclosed to THISDAY that the OOPL had been finding it hard to pay its workers’ salaries even before the COVD-19 pandemic.
The source, a top official in the Library who opted to remain anonymous, said the Coronavirus excuse offered by the OOPL management was only an excuse for the lay-offs.
“Well, it is true that the OOPL has asked most of its staff to go home temporarily, to enable the company recover from its present financial crisis.
“In the same vein, it is also true that the Covid-19 lockdown and long break in operations have both worsened efforts to shore up the dwindling resources of the OOPL; but that is not peculiar to our company.
“Other companies owned by notable Nigerian political figures have also sacked workers, owing to the reality of the moment,” the source said.
However, a letter issued by the management of the OOPL and signed by Olori (Queen) Olanike Ogunleye of the Human Resource Department, stated, “As you are aware, the current Covid:19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on all of our business significantly.
“This has resulted in making some difficult business decisions. Due to this situation, we regret to inform you that your employment will be put on hold till further notice.”
The sack letter, titled “Notification of temporary cessation of appointment”, particularly stressed that the workers should not expect any salary while at home.”.
Efforts by THISDAY to speak with the Managing Director of the OOPL, Mr. Vitalese Ortese, were unsuccessful, as his telephone was switched off.