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Dismissed workers lament non-payment of allowances in Kano

A cross-section of the dismissed workers

A cross-section of the dismissed workers

STILL coming to terms with the shock of their sudden sack, workers of the Kano Refuse Management and Sanitation Board (REMASAB) have accused the management of the board of denying them three-month arrears of their allowances.

The former casual workers, among them elderly men and women, loitering around the Club Road premises of REMASAB in the numbers, cried out that government had since terminated their appointments but denied them their entitlement. According them, majority of them had been working as casual workers in the last 10 years with N10,000 monthly allowance, claiming that the board was owing them June and July allowances.

Two weeks ago, Kano State government announced the dismissal of 2,620 workers of the board, majority of them casual cleaners engaged in sweeping and clearing of public rubbish.

The State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Muhammad Garba, who hinted journalists immediately after the weekly Executive Council meeting, said the 2,620 casual workers have been dismissed due to irregularity in the payment of the workers.

The tale of the troubled workers soon turned dramatic when government later countered its earlier statement, perhaps due to public outcry, insisting the cleaners were only suspended from their routine activities pending when government would conclude its screening exercise to ascertain the actual figure of the workers.

“Government has no intention of sacking any worker in REMASAB. But what is happening is a routine screening of those working under the board because there are issues of mass ghost workers parading themselves as workers and collecting money. So, after the screening, those screened would return back to work,” Garba said.

A reliable source at the board, however, told The Guardian that the workers had been given outright dismissal.

One of the former workers, Yakubu Inuwa, lamented: “Government has refused to pay us three months allowance since they asked us to go. Some of us here have been working in REMASAB for almost 10 years and we just heard that government has sacked us because some people are ghost workers. Even if they will sack us let them pay us now or are we also ghost workers?” Yakubu lamented.

When contacted, the new managing director of the refuse board Retired Group Captain Muhammed Mahmuda Kura dismissed the claim of the sacked cleaners saying that “government is not owing anybody.”

Kura insisted that government has directed the immediate payment of the two months allowances of the workers through their banks.

Kura said: “The 2,620 casual workers have been sacked; there is no doubt about that. We discovered mass financial recklessness where there is no documentation, no passport photograph and file of a staff working under this board. All you see is name and bank account. When you ask, who is this man? Somebody will tell you he saw the man working at or he is a staff of ministry of A or B. We can no longer continue with this system.”

He noted that government has announced the sale of forms for the recruitment of new workers adding that genuine workers among the sacked workers can still reapply.

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