Imo State Government has scrapped annual leave for its workers, following the introduction of its controversial three-day working week policy.
Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Public Utilities, Chief Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Owerri, also affirmed that the current directive was part of the decisions of the last State Executive Council, SEC, meeting. “Having given approval for the immediate implementation of the new work policy, the beneficiaries will no longer be entitled to annual leave, casual leave, sick leave and unnecessary absence from work, for all manner of reasons,” Ajumbe said. After rolling out the categories of workers that would benefit from the new work policy, the Commissioner however said that “nurses, doctors, teachers, journalists, broadcasters and other essential services workers would maintain the old work schedule.” The Commissioner also assuaged concerns among workers that the new policy was another way of forcing in a salary cut through the back door. “I must make it very clear that the new policy will not in any way; affect the take home pay of workers. Government is giving it’s word on this, “ Ajumbe said. Continuing, the Commissioner said the state government had recovered the Shell Camp Staff Quarters from the management of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, AIFCE, Owerri, noting that the government would now give out each plot to any individual that pays N50 million into its kitty. “Shell Camp Staff Quarters has been taken over by Imo State Government and each plot will be given out to any individual that can pay N50 million into government kitty,“ Ajumbe said. When asked to quantify the losses suffered by the citizenry since the administration started the current massive demolitions in Owerri and its environs, the Commissioner said: “Anybody that built his house close to the road should not expect any form of compensation from government. While saying that, “destruction leads to development,“ Ajumbe, according to Vanguard Newspapers added that “if you don’t destroy, you won’t develop.“