The Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) has sacked 150 workers, in what its management said was part of a re-organisation aimed at optimum performance.
Among those sacked across its four states of Plateau, Gombe, Bauchi and Benue were marketers, linesmen, network engineers, cable joiners and electrical fitters.
Their sack letters, signed by Abubakar Mohammed, Head, Human Resources and Support Services, simply told the workers that their services were no longer required.
The letters said that they would be paid one month’s salary in lieu of notice, and warned them against impersonating as workers of the company.
Some of the workers, however, accused the JEDC management refusing to settle their entitlements before sacking them, and also alleged that they were paid half salary in September.
They also rejected management’s claims that those sacked were old and unproductive, arguing that most of them were young persons engaged “few years ago”.
Alhaji Gidado Modibbo, JEDC Managing Director, who reacted to the allegations, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Jos that the “weeding exercise” was aimed at ridding the company of “dead woods”.
“We assess workers based on performance. Those sacked fell short of minimum expectations. Some were too old for the jobs they were handling.
“We even had Faults Men that were more than 60 years and blind. We had to ask them to go because they could not climb electric poles and were not adding any value to us,” he said.
He also rejected claims that the workers were paid half salaries in September, and explained that they received 70 per cent of their wages because management had set a target and resolved to base salaries on it.
Dr. Friday Elijah, JEDC Director of Communications, who also reacted, said that the main parametre used for the sack was performance.
“The performance of the workers have been generally very poor and management had always told them to sit up.
“Last month, for instance, we distributed N4 billion worth of energy, but realised only N950 million. It means that many workers are not productive, hence our resolve to ask them to go.”
He said that some workers were sacked for extorting monies from consumers, while others collected money from customers but did not remit same to the company.
Elijah said that some workers were told old and could no longer add any value to the company, while others, who were inherited from the former owners, had served for close to 40 years.
The official, however said that the company had engaged more workers than it had sacked since it took over JEDC in November 2013, “in spite of new technology that has minimised the need for manual activities”.