By Onozure Dania
WARRI—PRO-TESTING workers of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, have challenged the Godwin Ebosa-led board of the commission to account for N2 billion allegedly “left at Sterling Bank by the immediate past Oritsuwa Kpogho board,” insisting that until the commission’s management pay them their 2016 and 2017 end of year bonuses (Christmas Bonus), they won’t resume work.
The workers, who continued their protest in Warri, carried placards with inscriptions such as, “No off station allowances, no clock in,” “Implement our condition of service, DESOPADEC,” “Account for the N2 billion left by the Kpogho board at Sterling Bank,” among others.
Chairman of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Services Technical and Recreational Services Employees, AUPCTRE, DESOPADEC Branch, Mr John Osah told newsmen during the protest that the end of year bonus (13th month) is enshrined in the conditions of service of the commission and they have not been paid since 2017, while over 800 staff so far transferred have not received their allowances.
A member of the congress, Edeyan Abigail Oghenevoke, alleged that despite being owed two years end of year bonuses, each member of the current DESOPADEC board went home with a huge sum of money in December 2017 and money running into millions of naira was purportedly spent on 30 persons for foreign frivolities.
According to them, the Okowa administration releases between N2trillion to N3trillion monthly to the current DESOPADEC board, yet they continually cry of lack of funds to meet up basic responsibility.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of DESOPADEC, Olorogun Williams Makinde, has admonished the protesting staff of the commission to be calm, assuring that efforts are on to address the nagging issue of 13th month salary which the commission’s workers are agitating for.
Makinde, who spoke through his Media Aide, Owen Edafe, said that DESOPADEC has met its salary obligation till date, adding that the uncertainty in the price of crude oil in 2017, coupled with occasional attacks on crude oil installations negatively affected the commission’s allocation.