By Festus Ahon
UGHELLI â€” A legal practitioner, Mr Jesu-tega Onokpasa, has applau-ded Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghanâ€™s masterstroke in refraining from sacking majority of the staff of the stateâ€™s Oil Producing Areas Develop-ment Commission (DESOPADEC) staff as was feared in the governmentâ€™s move to reposition the Board.
He called on Dr. Uduaghan to urgently extend similar imaginative and result-oriented reform to other agenciesÂ of the stateâ€™s government.
Onokpasa, in a statement made available to the Vanguard yesterday, said the governmentÂ rose to the challenge of leadership and chose the better option of a downward adjustment of their bloated remunerations.
â€œHe has ensured that unemployment in Delta is not further worsened, while simultaneously repositioning DESOPADEC for the requisite degree of financial and structural efficiency necessary to achieve its mission and meeting the expectations of Deltans,â€ he said.
â€œIt now appears that the crisis embroiling the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission arose from a combination of administrative incompetence and financial rascality on the part of its leadership.
â€œWhereas hitherto, I had a substantial respect for those involved, I am now tempted to give up the high regard in which I once held them.
â€œI must equally express my disappointment at the fact that some of the worst culprits are professional turncoats fond of hobnobbing with those whose stock in trade is to undermine Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan at every opportunity.
â€œIn the light of what has been unearthed by the Prof. Sam Oyovbaire-led committee set up by the governor, coupled with the findings of Delta State House of Assembly which took separate critical looks at goings on at the commission, most Deltans are now unfortunately beginning to view DESOPADEC as just another drainpipe.
â€œIndeed, the performance of the commission so far would appear to be rather poor, having unwarrantedly derailed from its mission. Needless to say, the avarice perpetrated at DESOPADEC is a tragedy of truly monumental proportions, while the jumbo paychecks of a host of its real and ghost workers only serve to cast those involved in the light of kleptomaniacs.
â€œI commend Prof. Oyovbaire and co as well as Delta State House of Assembly for a job well done. I must, however, express my dissatisfaction with the legislatureâ€™s uniform thirty percent reduction in the salaries of the commissionâ€™s staff.
â€œThis may be retained for low earners while the absurdly high wages of certain categories of staff must be further slashed by as much as fifty percent or even more.
â€œAbove all, I applaud Governor Uduaghanâ€™s masterstroke in refraining from sacking a huge chunk of the commissionâ€™s staff as was feared, but instead rising to the challenge of leadership and choosing the better option of a downward adjustment of their unwarrantedly bloated remunerations.â€