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Enugu Governor Mbah Sacks Water Corporation Workers For Failing To Meet ‘His N50Million Monthly Target’

Posted by Thandiubani on Tue 30th Jan, 2024 -

The sack letter obtained on Tuesday, with Ref: ENSWC/HQ/P/3545 was dated Jan. 26, 2024, and titled: "Termination of Appointment".

More than 20 staff members of the Enugu state Water Corporation have been sacked.
Saharareporters stated that Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State sacked the staff members over their failure to meet N50million target on water sales.
SaharaReporters gathered that the 20 workers who were between level 13 and directors were handed their termination letters on Monday, January 29, 2024, when they came to work.
Sources told SaharaReporters that the affected staff of the Corporation were given a mandate to generate N5million every month, as the governor races to generate $30 billion in internally generated revenue (IGR) monthly.
The sack letter SaharaReporters exclusively obtained on Tuesday, with Ref: ENSWC/HQ/P/3545 was dated Jan. 26, 2024, and titled: "Termination of Appointment".
The sack letter of one of the affected staff who pleaded anonymity read: "Management has considered your performance and found it unsatisfactory and has decided to terminate your appointment on the grounds of general inefficiency and inability to meet your target.

"As a result, your appointment with ENUGU STATE WATER CORPORATION is hereby TERMINATED with immediate effect.

"You should hand over all properties, documents, and files of the Corporation in your possession to the Commercial/Admin."
The termination letter was signed by Andreas Gebauer, the Special Personal Assistant to Governor Peter Mbah on Water & Waste Management.
Lamenting the development, one of the affected staff who spoke to SaharaReporters on condition of anonymity, faulted the termination of their appointment, adding that for the past 34 years he was employed in the corporation he had never been issued a query.
According to him, the termination of their appointment was against the civil service rules and regulations, adding that it also contravened the terms of employment with the corporation.
Narrating some difficulties in realising the target, he said, "Since Governor Peter Mbah came to power, those who were writing bills for the corporation were disengaged and bills were no longer raised since September. So, because of this we were no longer issuing bills to the customers to collect money. When we started complaining they came up with what they called 'a temporary bill'.

"Unfortunately, when you go to customers with these temporary bills they will tell you it is illegal, thinking that we are coming to defraud them with it. It took lots of time to get customers convinced because this temporary bill is now handwritten. Worse still, the system housing the database of all the customers within this period collapsed and the names of most of the customers were no longer in the system.

"So we started rebuilding again and the governor sacked the people who were preparing bills for the corporation and brought his own people. So because of that the original bills were not printed. Despite these setbacks, we continued to move around appealing to people to pay their bills. So, all of a sudden when they called for a meeting they gave us an N5 million target that the government said that we must be generating N50 million every month.

"We continued going around generating the much we can based on the availability of water to households. Moreover, you know January is always difficult for families and when you come to houses, the occupants will tell you they haven't paid for the school fees of their children. They will tell you if you want to disconnect them you can disconnect and the new management had told us not to disconnect any house for whatever reason. In this kind of situation, we always force people to pay when you come with equipment to disconnect their water service.

"But that doesn't mean that we are not generating at all, we are doing our best but we didn't meet up with the much expected us. So, we were meeting every week to report what we were able to generate. Surprisingly, when we came to work yesterday some of us were handed over termination letters. Those who were in level 14, deputy directors, and directors that have less than two years in service without any queries and you are terminating their appointments.

"I didn't steal the property of the corporation, I did not embezzle the funds of the corporation either just because we didn't raise N50 million monthly. I don't know how they want us to get the money with these difficulties in the country. Secondly, water is not running as it is supposed to forget the media propaganda. Emene for instance, most streets in Uwani and even inside the city centre water are not running. Even in areas where water is running, it is not adequate. It is only those places where water was running during previous administrations that water is still running to date, nothing has changed and I wonder where they want us to generate the money from.

"There's a laid down procedure to disengage a worker. For instance, I have not been queried for the past 34 years of service, so how come somebody will wake up one morning and issue me with a termination letter of appointment? That is cruel, barbaric and inhumane. There hasn't been any expansion of water reticulation in the state, so where in God's name do they want us to get the money from? I don't know the amount the governor spent on the crash water programme which was started by the previous administration and he wants us to go grab money somewhere and bring it to the government. Is it not the masses that have water that we collect money from or are we going to pay the money?

"You can imagine that since the governor sacked the managing director, one Mr Okwor we have no MD till date, the white man he brought as SPA is in charge of Water Corporation and State Waste Management Authority," the staff explained.

On the biggest problem they have in the corporation, the staff said that they don't have enough production of water. "They will tell you that water is running everywhere but you can ask the people living in Enugu capital whether there's water in their compounds. It is only when they produce water that we sell to customers and they pay money."

On how the termination will affect him, he decried that as a civil servant, he depends on his monthly salary for the upkeep of his family and training of his children.

"I have children and they are still in school. And as a civil servant, I don't have any other business that I will say let me go to market and sell. It is only this salary that we depend on to feed our family and train our children. I have two children in the university and others in secondary school. It will affect us seriously and it pains me a lot because I don't know what offence I have committed. I didn't do anything that justified the termination of my appointment. I have not broken any service rules. I have not been issued any query for the 34 years I have served the government."

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