Barely, two months into negotiation bid to hand over Rison palm Nigeria Limited, a state owned company to a private operator, SIAT Nigeria Limited, staff of Rison palm under the aegis of concern workers have appealed to the State Governor, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi to assist them in ensuring the payment of over five and half years (5½) salaries which the management of Rison palm owes the workers.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide at Elele Estate, the leader of the group, simply identified as Elder, stated that from 1999 to 2011, the management of the company had refused to pay them salary on a flimsy excuse of no funding from the state government.
He averred that the workers have incurred serious financial hardship and has not been able to meet up with their family obligations, whereby losing their goodwill.
According to him, wives of some of the workers have deserted them as the workers could no longer fend for the women.
The workers also averred that Risonpalm indebtedness to them had made them wast their useful age as some of the workers could not afford to buy a common bicycle, talkless of building a thatch house in their villages.
According to them, “we have wasted over useful age of putting in over 27 years in the service without receiving salary.
“As a listening governor, we are appealing to you to look into the issue of our severance package as age is no longer on our side. Some of us may not re-apply to come back as a result of our premature old age cause by the management of rison palm”.
“We are no more productive as we have spent our useful age under hardship, therefore, we are beging the peoples’ Governor, Hon. Amaechi to look into our condition and do something tangible that can revive our lost hope in the society”, adding “ serving a state government is not a crime”.
However, the workers admitted that there is need for private investors to come into the state own oil producing company to breathe life into it.
Describing the governor as an action man and revolutionary, the workers commended him for embarking on a series of projects that would transform Rivers State into one of the most beautiful and well-planned cities in the world.
They said, Amaechi, through his action, had clearly demonstrated that he is serious with business of governance.
According to them, the ongoing beautification of some parts of the state as well as construction of roads environmental cleanliness, good transportation system, comprehensive health care, rehabilitation of schools, dualisation of major roads, were all designed to make big and positive difference in the lives of Rivers people, adding that Amaechi stands out among his peers in terms of governance in the country.
Our correspondent’s visit to Elele Estate revealed that the new management of SIAT Nigeria Limited has instructed the workers to uproot their cassava and yam before the end of January 2011 or risk destruction.