Workers of Abia State unified Local Government system have slammed officials of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Abia State chapter for allegedly using substandard materials in the construction of the NULGE secretariat and hotel which collapsed in Umuahia.
A two storey NUGLE secretariat building that was also to serve as hotel and which was nearing completion, collapsed last week.
The council workers have continued to demand for probe over the roles played by the NULGE executives who also serve as the building committee members.
Members of the NULGE state executives accused in supervising the shoddy work at the secretariat which led to its collapse included Eze Idima, D.C Chigbu, Ijeoma Onyenaucheya, Ikechi Nwigwe and Precious Chukwuemeka. Others were Austin Ekpo, Okechukwu Iwejua, Aja A. Aja and Linda Monday.
The workers who preferred anonymity for fear of victimization expressed sadness that the NULGE officials under the guise of executing the project through direct labour, engaged the services of a junior staff of Arochukwu local government simply identified as Enyinnaya, alleged to be related to the NULGE President, Idima, whom they accused of not having any experience in the building construction industry to oversee such gigantic project.
The workers accused Idima and his executives of deciding to construct the secretariat which they said had cost local council workers in the state several millions of naira through direct labour and bypassing town planning engineers to employ the services of an unqualified staff who used sub standard materials for the project, for personal monetary gains.
They said it was painful that a project that was being financed by the three percent check off dues of the over 30, 000 Abia local council workforce including a levy of between N1, 000 to N5, 000 per worker and which has not been accounted for, could be allowed to go down the drains due to the insensitivity of the NULGE executives and called for a probe.
“Most of the executives have buildings here in Abia and outside the state and none has collapsed, why the secretariat? They used substandard materials in the construction of such gigantic building and employed the services of an inexperienced juior staff to supervise the project in the guise of using direct labour so that they could make more money to themselves and now the workers are the worst for it ”, they said
247ureports.com gathered that few days after the building collapsed, the office of the general manager, Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA) issued a statement, blaming the collapse of the secretariat complex on the use of substandard materials and immediately stopped further work on the project.
When contacted, the President of the Abia State chapter of NULGE, Comrade Eze Idima denied the allegation of wrong doing by any executive of the union in the construction of the collapsed building, maintaining that standard materials were used.