Thursday, 14 February 2013

Rivers Assembly Demands For Reinstatement Of Laid-Off Drivers Of Rivers Ministry Of Health

By Chioma Andy

Rivers State House of Assembly has called for the immediate reinstatement of three laid-off drivers of Rivers State Ministry of Health.
The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Leyii Kwanee, made this declaration on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 following a report by the House Committee on Public Complaints and Petition on a petition brought before the House on ‘Unjustifiable Lay off from the service of the Rivers State Government.’
The recommendations of the report of the committee based on their findings which was adopted by the House stated thus:
1. That appointment letters of Barikor Deekor, Collins Ndamati and Chinda Chizi be released to them with immediate effect.
2. That the affected drivers be placed on the appropriate level, taking into consideration their date of first appointment. And any other recommendation the House may deem necessary.
Hon. Leyii also directed the Head of Service to query the Director of Administration of Ministry of Health, Mrs. Crystal Soberekon, for explanations on why the letters of the three drivers were withheld.

Following debates by Members of the House, Hon Ben Horsefall, representing Asari Toru constituency 2, said that the report of the committee was not detailed enough for the House to draw conclusions from.
He said that more investigations needed to be made on why only three out of eight drivers’ letters of appointment were withheld.
Hon. Ibiso Nwuche aligned his comments with that of Horsefall, arguing that the Head of Service had the power to hire and sack. He therefore called on more investigations and asked that the debate be deferred until such a time when more facts would be gotten.

Hon.  Members, Martins Amaewhule, Golden Chioma and Robinson Ewor were of the opinion that it was the duty of the House committee on Public complaints and Petitions to question the persons who were accused and to come back to the House with recommendations.
Ewor pointed out that the Civil Service Commission representative pleaded guilty before the Committee and was admonished by the committee.
He added that all the details were handled by the committee making it unnecessary to state all the processes used to be mentioned in the House.

The petition which was sponsored by Mr. Barikor Deekor on behalf of the other two drivers stated that they were eight drivers integrated into the mainstream of Rivers State Civil Service on February 13th, 2008.
He stated that they were all issued letters of appointment which the other five received, but theirs were withheld by Mrs. Crystal Soberekon.
He also stated that their salary since January 2009 had not been paid even when their names had reflected on the payment vouchers of the Ministry.

Deekor added that several protests and appeal to the Chairman of Civil Service Commission through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health to Soberekon proved futile.

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