By Chidi NkwoparaBy Chidi Nkwopara
Friday, October 10, 2003
OWERRI — NO fewer than 205 staff of Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), including the Director General, Ajie Chinedu Nzeribe and the Acting Director of Finance, Mr. Sam Onyenobiya, have been relieved of their appointment by the state government. According to a Government White Paper on the report of the administrative board of inquiry into the IBC, the total staff strenght of the establishment should not exceed 300. While government approved the "retirement with full benefits of the former Director General, Ajie Chinedu Nzeribe", it also made a proviso that he must retire the sum of N1.711 million within one month of publication of this White Paper.
The panel recommended that Nzeribe should,"within 48 hours of the publication of this White Paper, retire the sum of N1.711 million outstanding against him for over two years in connection with arrangements for the visit of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2000". With respect to the Acting Director of Finance, Mr. Onyenobiya, government directed that he be dismissed from the IBC, "for various irregularities perpetrated by him in the Corporation". Government accepted the recommendations of the panel that the total staff strenght of IBC should not exceed 300, while guest artistes should not exceed 10 at any point in time.
While government directed that the appointment of all temporary staff and those illegally employed should be terminated, "since none of them has any special skill needed in IBC", it further directed that "all staff who have bad service records or who are unproductive, over-aged, unqualified for the positions they currently hold, should be retired with immediate effect". It was government’s considered opinion that to ensure the process of identifying those to be retired are transparent, fair and just, the Secretary to State Government was directed to set up a special committee to handle the retirement exercise.
"Government further directs the special committee to make recommendations if need be, on the redeployment or otherwise, of any excess staff after the retirement", the White Paper stated. On the problems of the Engineering and Technical Services Department, which has had no substantive director since the past three years when the former head retired, government ordered that the job "be advertised by the IBC management, with a view to appointing a competent person to the post".