By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”ABOUT 418 workers of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) may be sacked soon by the Commission in a bid to trim down its over-bloated workforce.
Vanguard learnt that the decision to throw out the workers was taken at a meeting of the Board of the Commission in Warri last Wednesday, but the 520 take-off staff would be retained.
The state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, had in recent times expressed concern over the commissionâ€™s large workforce and the overhead being spent by its top officials on hotel accommodation.
At a stage, the workforce of the commission rose to over 3,000 with 1,600 staff, and at a public function in Asaba last week, the governor drew the attention of the chairman of DESOPADEC, Chief Wellington Okirika, to reports that the commission was spending so much on hotel accommodation.
Already, government committee, headed by the former Minister of Information, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, has been mandated to look intoÂ the running of the organization and advise on the proper way to use the funds to serve the interest of the oil producing communities.
However, workers of the commission have kicked against the recommendation ofÂ a 40 per cent cut in their salaries by a committee of permanent secretaries in the state, saying the problem was with the authorities who waste money on politicians and frivolities.
â€œDo you known that a top official of DESOPADEC who has a house in Warri spent 95 days in a hotel and brought the bill for payment and that some of them are buying cars and building houses for their girlfriends with the commissionâ€™s money.Â So the problem is that they are mismanaging the funds”.
â€œOur wage bill stands at about N450 million monthly and 50 per cent of the 13 per cent derivation that comes to the state monthly is about N2.75 billion.
â€œWe hear the governor does not give all out at once because he is closely monitoring the activities of commission , but 92 per cent of our workforce are based on political considerations.Â If qualified persons are recruited, the bill will come down,â€ an angry staff of the commission told Vanguard.