Go home, no one will sack you, Gombe govt tells protesting cleaners

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From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe

The Gombe State Government has assured the staff of INEX Cleaning Limited that the state government has no plans to sack any of them, said preparation to absolve the workers who were engaged in daily cleaning service in the Gombe metropolis is in top gear.

According to the General Manager (GM) of the Gombe State Environmental Sanitation and Protection Agency (GOSEPA) Muhammad Ahmad Kumo, INEX Cleaning Limited had a two years contract agreement with the previous government in the state which elapsed in June 2021 and the contract was renewed for another nine months by Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya.

He explained that the nine months extension ended in March 2022 and that the state government called for fresh bidding for the contract of cleaning services in the Gombe metropolis.

Daily Sun learned that the expiration of the contract and nonrenewal of same made the about 2000 staff of INEX Cleaning Limited restless and resolved to protest to seek the government’s intervention to prevent their disengagement.

‘We were told not to worry that we will be absolved by the government and new company to be engaged but we were shocked to see new faces being employed to replace us. It seems like we were gradually being withdrawn that was why we decided to protest today as nobody was answering or telling us what was happening,’ Deborah Adamu told Daily Sun during their protest on Thursday at the Gombe State government house gate.

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However, the GM of GOSEPA assured that the agency was working with the new companies engaged by the state government to ensure a smooth transition of the workers from INEX Cleaning Limited into the new payroll.

‘We have advertised on national dailies and five companies including the INEX came and expressed their interest, we go through the costs they were proposing and agreed with new companies and have agreed that we at GOSEPA will absolve 1000 of the workers who were mainly cleaning drainages while ‘Upton Green are taking 782 and then 520 will be with Cosmopolitan,’ he said.

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Kumo further explained that INEX Cleaning Limited was disengaged by the state government due to the cost of his services and the amount the company was paying its workers.

‘INEX was being paid N930,000 per kilometre, when we investigated, we found out that the owners of INEX were paying the workers N12,000 per month and that he engages 10 workers in a kilometre, which means he was paying them N120,000 out the N930,000 he collected from the state government. He was being paid N110 million to clean 139 kilometres of roads and the new company we engaged agreed to do the work for N450,000 against the N930,000 and that he will pay the workers N15,000 each,’ he stated.