PDP Raises Alarm Over Sale Of Flour Mill, Land Grabbing In Rivers

The word of war between the administration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi and that of the in-coming Barrister Nyesom Wike continue weekend with PDP accusation of continuous sales of the states’ properties.

PDP alleged Saturday that it again uncovered another plot by the outgoing Governor Amaechi to sell off State owned public facilities and business ventures before leaving office on May 29.

The PDP chairman, Prince Felix Obuah alleged that arrangement was almost concluded by the outgoing governor to deprive Rivers people of their ownership status of the Port Harcourt Flour Mills Limited, by selling off the company to Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, Apapa, producers of Golden Penny.

Rivers State Government owns 55% of the Port Harcourt Flour Mills Limited while Bayelsa State Government controls 45% shares.

Obuah stated that with the latest arrangement between Governor Amaechi and the management of Nigeria Flour Mills, Rivers State Government has opted to “relinquish its entire 55% share to the private company with some benefits of the arrangement to be remitted to the private account of the out-going Governor (Amaechi).

“To execute this plot, the current management of the PH Flour Mills Limited has placed all the workers on redundancy, starting from May 2015, giving spurious claim that the company is no longer viable and cannot meet up its financial obligations”.

The Party’s position is further corroborated by a Save Our Soul (SOS) letter dated April 22, 2015, sent by staff of the company, denying such unfounded claim by the Rivers State Government under the guise of the company’s management.

The Staff under the umbrellas of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) and the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), had in their protest letter disclosed some deliberate management decisions aimed at creating the impression that the company was no longer viable, which forced workers to proceed on compulsory Leave from March 23 – April 13, 2015, with an assurance that full operations will commence on their return from the said Leave.

“It was disheartening that on return from the questionable Leave, the workers were asked to collect their redundancy payment, following the claimed depreciation in the company’s carrying-capacity.

“The staff had therefore, in the said SOS, stated that following series of such antics going on in the company, It is the union’s opinion that management of the company has concluded plans with Rivers State Government to acquire the company before the end of the tenure of the out-going administration in the State’’.

The party also lamented that state lands were being shared or sold to people close to the leadership of Rivers State, adding that, Amaechi was hurriedly signing illegal Certificates of Occupancy (C of O), without due process, of such illegally acquired lands.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Commerce and industry, Hon Chulwuma Chinye said that “the privatization and commercialization of ailing government owned companies is a cardinal objective of any responsible government.

“PH flour mill has been shut down by the management for a while now and we are looking for core investors to inject needed capital. “This government will continue to do the business of governance until May 28th. PDP should wait, the date is not far at all and government is on a continuing basis. It will end before or after May 29th”.


Author: News Editor

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