By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—Industrialists at the famous Harbour layout in Onitsha, Anambra State, are demanding N30 billion compensation from the Federal Government to cushion the effects of the 2012 flood disaster that ravaged most manufacturing companies in the area.
The industrialists said during their interaction with the former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, who is the deputy director-general of President Jonathan Campaign Organisation in Onitsha that they were making the demand because they were aware that the Federal Government had set up an intervention fund to assist companies that sustained losses during the disaster.
Chairman of Harbour Industrial Layout Association, Chief Paul Okonkwor said the companies in the area lost over N100 billion to the flood, adding that the compensation would enable them recall thousands of workers laid off as a result of the flood.
Okonkwor said: “We express deep concern over the absence of well coordinated preemptive flood mitigation operation at the industrial layout due to our geographical location, in spite of the climate change warnings.
“We also want to express our heartfelt concerns over the manner in which the flood-affected industries have been left to fend for themselves since the flood disaster in the area, as most of the industries lost most of their assets to the flood. “
Okonkwor said it was for that reason that most of the industries rationalized their workforce, a development he described as unfortunate because they had spent a lot of money to train the affected workers.
Addressing them, Obi said government would not toy with a group that employed about 30,000 workers directly, adding that they needed industrial harmony created by the Jonathan administration to remain in business and should therefore ensure that the President was returned to office on March 28.