Employees of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), blocked the government House in Owerri on Monday to protest the non-payment of their salaries for months.
All clad in black attire, they held placards and demonstrated their anger at the situation in front of the government House, disrupting the flow of traffic in the premises.
The workers said they were being owed three months of salaries and allowances and refused to be pacified by Governor Uzodinm a’s Chief of Staff, Nnamdi Anyaehie saying they wouldn’t leave the gate until they were paid.
While speaking to the press, the chairman of the association, Chinedu Awuzie said the state government was acting badly towards the employees.
He reiterated that despite having a low workforce (320) compared to its sister agencies, the state government has refused to pay them.
He revealed that several meetings with the Governor, Hope Uzodinma had ended inconclusively and accused the state government of marginalising Oil workers in the state despite using resources produced by them.
“We are here to protest three months unpaid salaries. Our allocation does not come from the state government but the state government is holding the money meant for payment of salaries and carrying out of projects in the oil-producing communities. Awuzie said.
“We had an understanding that from the 13 percent oil derivation paid to us by the federal government, the state government should take 60 percent and give us 40 percent. But unfortunately, the state government will take its 60 percent and still take our own 40 percent.”