The hopes of 33 ad-hoc workers of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, of being absorbed into the civil service has been dashed as they have been asked to go, Daily Trust learnt on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
The emergency responders, whose ‘appointment’ was terminated on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, were employed during the last administration of Akinwunmi Ambode on an ad-hoc basis to boost the Response Unit.
It was learnt that, while some were employed in 2017, others joined the agency in January 2018. The ad-hoc staff were being paid salaries through Avantgarde Management Services, AMS, an outsourcing firm and consultant to the agency.
But few months to the expiration of Ambode’s administration, the firm was finding it difficult to pay the ad-hoc staff to the extent that they were owed for two months.
Sources told Daily Trust that the contract with AMS expired without being renewed. Following the development, LASEMA, under the former General Manager, Adeshina Tiamiyu, worked out an arrangement where the ad-hoc staff were being paid directly by the agency while salary was slashed by 50 percent from N70,000 to N35,000.
“This is the situation until the last administration left and we continued to do our work like the regular staff of the agency, hoping we would be absorbed”, said one of the affected workers who spoke to Daily Trust on condition of anonymity. But things turned sour when a new Director-General/CEO, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyitolu was appointed by the new governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on June 20, 2019.
Immediately the new CEO assumed duty, the names of the ad-hoc staff were removed from duty roaster with many of them in shock, one of the sources said. It was learnt that they made several unsuccessful attempts to seek audience with the DG until they were told on Tuesday by the Human Resources department that their services were no longer needed.
A source said: “The affected ad-hoc staff have been trained and faced several hazards in the discharge of their duties and everything was going on well. So, the coming in of the new DG two weeks ago changed their fortunes”.
Another affected staff, who spoke in confidence, added: “What is getting most of us angry is that he (the DG) shouldn’t discard us like that without meeting us, no words, no physical meeting, he just treated us like we don’t exist.”
Efforts to get the DG today by our reporter proved abortive as he did not pick calls put across to him neither did he reply the text message sent to him as at the time of filing this report.