From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Workers at the Ikot Nyong power plant in Odukpani Local government area of Cross River may down tools over non-payment of salaries and alleged deduction.
The workers, in the Operations and Maintenance team (O&M), and numbering over 200, accuse their employers of exploiting them and subjecting them to inhuman treatment.
The spokesperson of the workers, who simply gave his name as Jones Asuquo, further accuse
the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) of hiring a contractor, SEWA West Africa Company, adding that it is the only generating company in the entire federation that hired the services of a contractor.
According to him, the Managing Director of SEWA, one Lan Appleby, has owed them three months and has refused to remit their pension to the pension scheme.
He said: “Currently, the company is owing us three months salary since November, 2020. Besides, it has not remitted the pension to the pension scheme.
“During the lockdown, a form was brought for the workers to sign but the money has not been paid to us till date.
“Now, supervisor is entitled to N850,000 but they get N715,000 after tax and pension. The Engineers are supposed to get N750,000 but they get N515,000 after tax and pension.
“Technician Operators are supposed to go home with N650,000 but the contractor divided them into two: Tech 1 and Tech 2. Tech 1 goes home with N350,000 and Tech 2 goes home with N215,000,” he alleged.
Reacting, Mr. Appleby said: “I am a contractor to NDPHC and if you want any information, you have to talk to NDPHC.”
On his part, the Chief Operating Officer, an employee with NDPHC, Mr. Gbenga Oyewale, said the workers should direct their grievances to SEWA West Africa, adding that they have the right to protest if they are not paid their correct salaries.
Oyewale said he has told the workers to comain officially in writing and nobody had done that yet, adding that once proper thing is done he would forward it to his headquarters for official response.