From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Government has taken a swift action to resolve the attempt to disrupt ongoing construction work at the British-American flyover by some aggrieved workers who protested against the company for inadequate payment.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Works, Hon. Pam Bot-Mang said the ministry has held separate meeting with the aggrieved workers to resolve the issues.
The statement said, “The attention of the Plateau State Ministry of Works has been drawn to a purported demonstration by some workers on the construction of the British-American Flyover and Dualisation to Lamingo Roundabout Junction which took place on Thursday 5th May 2022.
Bot-Mang said the demonstration was said to have been carried out by some aggrieved workers of the construction company who were expressing their grievances against the contractor, Craneburg Nigeria Ltd.
“As a result of the demonstration, work was reportedly interrupted at the construction site as some of the aggrieved workers sought to have their demands addressed by the management of the construction firm.
“On getting the information, the Ministry of Works summoned a meeting separately with the aggrieved Staff and Management of the company with the view to hearing from both sides and also intervening.”
He explained that some of the grievances of the workers include demand for increment of salaries, payment of overtime allowances, provision of canteen and other support amenities among others.
“The Management of Craneburg Construction Company has also given its side of the story by providing evidence to show that they have paid overtime allowances to deserving workers as well as consistently paying every staff the amount indicated in their letter of employment as an when due.
“While more discussions are on going to ensure that the matter is resolved amicably, it is important to state that the Plateau State Government through the Ministry of Works pays every seriousness to the progress of the flyover project and the welfare of all workers.
“Indeed, the Ministry of Works on the directive of His Excellency Governor Simon Bako Lalong insisted that a substantial number of workers must be employed from the State as a way of empowering the citizens. This was achieved as the company complied.”
He said Government wishes to reassure the workers that everything possible will be done to ensure that the rights and privileges of workers are protected while the work goes on.
“At the same time, it will also work to ensure that the company’s interests and ability to carry out the work unhindered and according to the terms of agreement is not compromised.”
He warn that it will not allow underground political interests to truncate the laudable project as it is in posession of intelligence reports that indicate that some individuals and groups are bent on instigating disharmony using the workers to ensure that the project does not progress.
“It is important to remind the citizens of Plateau State in general and the workers in particular that the construction of the British-American Flyover is a major economic decision by the Rescue Administration whose benefits are enormous for the State and nation at large.
“All citizens particularly workers of the construction company must be vigilant and guard against the antics of mischief makers and enemies of Plateau State who take joy in sowing seeds of discord to score cheap political points.”