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No succession crisis at Ajaokuta Steel Company, unions insist


Steel Industry

• Fault lawyer over petition to SGF

The two unions in Ajaokuta Steel Company, Kogi State have dismissed the reported succession crisis at its managerial level.Specifically, the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN) and Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN), yesterday in Lokoja, faulted the petition to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) indicating a leadership crisis at the steel firm.

Salifu Oguche Usman, a Principal Partner at an Abuja-based law firm, Abbluent Partners, had in a recent letter, where in he acted counsel to the workers, accused the Sole Administrator, Joseph Onobere Isah, of contravening extant laws, diverting promotion allowances of employees as well as selling the company’s property.

But in a statement, jointly signed by the chairmen, Comrades Nuhu Salawu and Attah James, the unions denied consulting the lawyer for the job.According to them, the process of appointing or removing the head of a federal agency was largely political and fell within the purview of the government.

They clarified: “At no point did workers appoint chief executives for the organisation. In the case of Engineer Isah, it is true he was employed in 1982 and appointed Sole Administrator in 2012. Though we are not lawyers, we, however, know as a matter of fact, that there is a difference between employment and appointment.

“We also know that when Isah was appointed Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Plant, Engr. A.Y Ibrahim was also appointed Sole Administrator of the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe in November 2012.”

The unions continued: “It might interest Mr. Salifu Oguche Usman to know that as at the time of the appointment of Engr. A.Y. Ibrahim to head NIOMCO, Itakpe, he had already retired from public service and his appointment stood till he voluntarily withdrew his services and the current Chief Executive Officer was appointed to take over.”

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