Lagos owing us five months salaries – LASEMA workers cry out

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Some staff in the Response Unit section of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) have raised an alarm over their five months salary arrears being owed by the Lagos State government.

The LASEMA Response Unit (LRU) have also threatened to commence strike should their demands not be met.

Herald Nigeria learnt that the challenge for the unit began when their operations were contracted to a firm, Avantgarde Management Services, by former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

Before then, the LRU had been handling emergency management operations in Lagos and manned the Command and Control Centre at Alausa, Ikeja, where over 80,000 emergency calls were received on a daily basis.

By an official of the LRU, who spoke to newsmen in confidence, said, “We are being owed five months’ salaries and nobody is saying anything. The Avantgarde is not communicating. I learnt as of yesterday that top management staff of the firm have resigned and cleared their offices. We don’t know who will pay us our money. For five months, no salaries. Yet, we have families to feed. We are staging a peaceful protest in front of the House of Assembly. They must answer us.”

Also, officials of Avantgarde, the management company,  said until the government paid the firm, there was no way the workers would get their salaries.

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“This information is already in the public domain. We don’t have the money. It is when they pay us that we will be able to pay them,” the officer said.

But in his reaction, the Director General of LASEMA, Oke-Osanyintolu, said there was no crisis with emergency management services in the state, adding that the control centre was also functioning well.

He noted that the LRU was being managed by LASEMA and he was not aware any staff member was owed salaries.

“I am not aware that they are owing LRU money. LRU is LASEMA and LASEMA is under civil service. So, I don’t know what you are talking about. I have been there (Command and Control Centre) and that place is still functioning. There are no challenges in LASEMA,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.

Asked the present relationship between LASEMA and Avantgarde, he said, “You should go and ask the management of Avantgarde. What I know is that LASEMA operation is still going on and we have a cordial relationship with them. There is no problem.

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