By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
Some casual workers of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC engaged in different construction sites in Port Harcourt, Rivers State , on Tuesday morning, downed tools in protest to poor remuneration.
The workers who assembled at Waterlines junction where they took off , were seen with placards alleged poor salaries paid them by the construction giant, Julius Berger, despite receiving humongous payment from the Rivers State government.
The Workers wearing their helmets, reflective vest said they are protesting over the ill treatment, of workers by the construction Julius the Berger
The protesting construction workers bearing different placards with varying inscriptions like “Julius Berger Must Go”, “Julius Berger are also looting Us”, also urge the Rivers State Government to sever ties with the company for failing to address their grievances.
An eye witness who monitored the protest said many of the protesting workers were drawn from some communities in the state numbering over 70.
This protests is coming less than 24 hours after the company promised the Rivers State Government Governor Nyesom Wike that it will complete both GRA and Rumuola flyovers before the end of September 2021
Our correspondent reports that on Monday, the Governor Nyesom Wike in company of other government officials during an unscheduled inspection of the Nkpolu -Oroworukwo, Rumuola, GRA flyovers and Ezimgbu Road undergoing dualization, said no amount of money spent on projects that will impact positively on the wellbeing of the people of the state will be regretted.
The governor, who spoke to journalists after the inspection, said the contractor handling the projects, Julius Berger PLC, has assured that Rumuola, GRA flyovers and the dualisation of the Ezimgbu Road and Tombia Road extension will be completed by the end of September.
Speaking to our correspondent on the development a concerned resident Mathew Gogo said ”the problem of Nigerian workers especially in the construction industry is casualisation of workers. They make them casual workers so that they will pay them peanut as salary but make them to work under sun and rain”.
He said the the painful aspect of it is that the white men would want or think they are all staff, whereas the top Nigerian Ogas in the company will want fellow Nigerians to remain casual.
“It’s just a pity that workers are been treated this way in a country where the contract sum is three times the original sum, yet to pay workers salary is a big problem”, said Gogo.