– As Workers Demand Removal Of Interim Head

There is widespread panic brewing at the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL) over the proposed sack of over 80 per cent of its workforce on the ground of incompetence by the interim management.

The aggrieved staff, however, called for the removal of Isyaku Bashir, the head of the interim management team of AICL, for peace to reign in the company.

FINANCIAL WATCH gathered in August 2017, the interim management team of the company was entangled in salary controversy over the N5 million monthly salary paid to Bashir as the head of interim management without seeking approval from the FCT Administration.

This development, our correspondent learnt, led Muhammad Bello, the FCT Minister, to revert the salary to N500,000 per month, with a strong ministerial directive to make refund of the May and June 2017 salary arrears collected by the interim management team.

Last week, the interim management team and staff were at each other’s jugular again as activities were paralysed over series of allegations bordering on industrial harmony, our correspondent learnt.

Some aggrieved staff told newsmen that Bashir had written to the newly constituted board of AICL to sack 80 per cent of its personnel on ground of ‘incompetence’, a development they vowed to resist.

They also alleged that the interim head had intensified efforts to lobby the new board members to confirm his interim management team at the expiration of their tenure.

One of the aggrieved staff who spoke on condition of anonymity described the development as “frivolous and unacceptable”, stressing that since the revelation of the interim management team’s bogus salary to the media and some anti-corruption agencies, industrial harmony between staff and the interim management team has become a mirage.

“I want to state it very clear that the head of the interim management team has not been comfortable with the presence of most workers since August last year when their dubious salary scale was made public. The man is not comfortable with us because he felt that the present crop of staff would not allow him to carry on with his illegalities on the guise of fighting corruption.

“To achieve his aim, he wrote to the newly constituted board seeking approval to sack 80 per cent of the present staff on the ground of incompetence. These are staff who have spent over 10 to 15 years in AICL. In the real sense, between his interim management and us, who is incompetent? What is the criterion used to arrive at that judgment? What extraordinary innovation has he brought on board to improve the capital base of the company since assumption of office in May last year? These are basic questions that are begging for answers.

“The Unclad truth is that the man sees some of us as whistleblowers and he wants to do away with us on flimsy excuse of incompetence. In fact, the board should remove him for industrial harmony to be restored,” he affirmed.

He, however, called on the intervention of the FCT Minister to end the crisis.

All efforts made by our correspondent to reach Bashir proved unsuccessful as calls put across to his phone were not answered.

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