Bauchi Inv’t Corp work­ers picket premises over al­le­ga­tions against MD

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Balarabe Alka­s­sim, Bauchi

Work­ers of the Bauchi In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (BIC) yes­ter­day pick­eted the com­pany’s premises over their row with its man­age­ment, vow­ing not to re­sume work un­til Thurs­day.

The pro­test­ers are ac­cus­ing the BIC’s Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Al­haji Abubakar Sule Katagum, of al­legedly flout­ing the com­pany’s es­tab­lished rules in han­dling its af­fairs.

The work­ers had, in a no­tice dated Oc­to­ber 16, 2015 signed by the com­pany’s Sec­re­tary, Do­mes­tic Com­mit­tee, Kayella­wos Yo­hanna Iliyaý, threat­ened to take the ac­tion to press home their de­mands.

The no­tice, which was copied to the Chair­man, Nige­ria Labour Congress (NLC), Bauchi chap­ter and made avail­able to jour­nal­ists, read, “The staff of Bauchi In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd have re­solved to lock the com­pany’s premises from Mon­day to Wed­nes­day (Oct. 19-21) as a means of draw­ing at­ten­tion to our pre­vi­ous per­sist­ing prob­lems.”

They de­manded that Katagum be sacked for what they al­leged as his “lack of ad­her­ence to rules and dis­re­spect for board mem­bers and man­age­ment staff.

“He does not stay in the of­ficeý most of the time to pro­vide ad­min­is­tra­tive su­per­vi­sion, pol­icy di­rec­tives and ap­provals. He rep­re­sents the com­pany in var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions with vir­tu­ally no feed­back to the com­pany,” they stated.

The MD was also ac­cused by the work­ers of al­leged lack of financial pru­dence, which they main­tained led to the com­pany’s in­abil­ity not to earn prof­its. Again, Katagum was held re­spon­si­ble for the man­age­ment’s un­will­ing­ness to re­cap­i­talise the BIC Mi­cro­fi­nance Bank (BIC-MB), adding they sus­pected that pro­ceeds from the sales of BIC-MB shares was not chan­neled through the com­pany’s ac­counts.

The work­ers listed lack of ad­e­quate renu­mer­a­tion, staff ca­reer non-de­vel­op­ment and in­dus­trial dishar­mony among the myr­i­ads of prob­lems they have been fac­ing for years. They said the com­pany has been un­able to pay salaries as at when due, or meet up with pen­sion, so­cial in­sur­ance and tax de­duc­tion re­mit­tances, which they claimed led to the clo­sure of the com­pany by the FIRS.

How­ever in his re­ac­tion via tele­phone on Sun­day, Katagum de­bunked the al­le­ga­tions, call­ing them “mis­chievous” and an at­tempt to dis­credit him by some el­e­ments who had been be­hind many of his ef­forts to re­po­si­tion the com­pany.

“The al­le­ga­tions are all acts of mis­chief. They have never of­fi­cially called my at­ten­tion to any­thing. All what I know is that they have been re­sist­ing my ini­tia­tives in or­der to frus­trate my ef­forts. This thing be­gan since the last ad­min­is­tra­tion of Mal­lam Isah Yuguda. The last time we had a board meet­ing, they met Babayo Shehu and told him and he in­sisted that they must in­form me be­cause I was not around at the time.

“He said they should in­form me when­ever I came back, but they didn’t tell me any­thing. I even asked them whether there is any prob­lem when we had a meet­ing with them af­ter I came back. All the work that we did at the in­vest­ment, they protested against it. They even pe­ti­tioned the present ad­min­is­tra­tion say­ing that I am hid­ing some things from them, which is not true. They also ob­jected to the open­ing of our Lagos of­fice,” he said.

He added that he had car­ried out many re­forms in the com­pany, in­clud­ing the build­ing of struc­tures and in­vest­ments, which he said the work­ers had ob­jected to but have started yield­ing fruits and which the com­pany would be get­tingý prof­its from.

“We re­cently se­cured a li­cence to trade in se­cu­ri­ties. All I know is that their al­le­ga­tions are base­less and they have never for­warded any­thing to me con­cern­ing the al­le­ga­tion they raised against me,” he added.

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