Contrary to reports in some media that the management of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company (JSM), ONNA, Akwa Ibom State is building a mosque within its premises with intention of forcing staff of the company to become Muslims, findings have revealed that the reports were not only false but also misleading.
A team of Journalists who visited the company on a facts- finding mission Friday, can authoritatively reports that there was no mosque either in a make-shift or permanent form within the company’s premises. It was however, gathered that in a bid to enhance staff proficiency in the handling of some factory machines, the management of the company flown in some expatriates from Turkey to the country to train the staff.
It was also gathered that in order to meet up with the training programme which was to last for just one week, the management decided that last Saturday and Sunday of last month be included in the training schedules, and urged the staff to make good use of the opportunity offered them to develop their skills.
Findings further revealed that instead of some of the staff to appreciate the training programme, they resorted to propaganda with a view to painting the management and the company in bad light, while others even go the extend of threatening to deal ruthlessly with some of the management staff.
A staff of the company who preferred anonymity, condemned in strong terms the actions of some his colleagues and attributed their excesses to their inability to come to terms with the fact that they are being employed to work in a privately own establishment and not a political settlement and urged the public to ignore the rumours being peddled by a section of the media against the company.
The Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the Company, Mr. Babayola Udoh, who conducted Journalists around nooks and crannies of the company, told the pressmen that he has worked with the company for over two years and there have never been a time any member of the management staff compelled or requested any of the junior staff to join them in the mosque for prayers not to talk of building a mosque within the company premises.
Mr, Udoh, noted that he would have been the first to raise alarm, as such practice would undermine the rights and freedom of the staff and even negate the international labour best practices in the company and described as false and misleading the reports about the management of JSM by a segment of the media. Udoh, urged the media to always cross check their reports before sending to the public.
Also speaking, a staff of the company, Babajide Kotun, who said he is a Moslem faithful, maintained that it is a well known fact that every Moslem worships on Fridays in the mosque and stressed that if the information was anything to go by, there would have been no way we journalists would not have seen them gathered at the said mosque to worship. He added that the management of JSM is very conversant with labour laws and practices and therefore cannot violate such while carry out its works in Akwa Ibom State.
While reacting to the allegations, the Managing Director of Jubilee Syringe Company, Mr. Zubeyir Gulabi, maintained that it was in a bid to make the company engineers and operators to have expertise knowledge on how to handle some of the machines in the company that informed their decisions to bring some Engineers from Turkey to carry out a one week intensive training programme for the staff.
According to Gulabi, it was due to the training programme that the management decided that since the Turkish Engineers who arrived Friday, would be going back to Turkey on Tuesday (last week), there was a need for Saturday and Sunday be included for the training. He however, regretted that it didn’t take place as scheduled due to the January environmental sanitation as most of the staff who leave in Uyo couldn’t make it.
He added that they were shocked when someone who claimed to be a staff of the company said in a live-phone in radio programme of Planet FM that some staff of the company were forced to work on Sundays so that they can worship on Fridays in the Mosque built within the company premises by the management.
The Managing Director, who expressed dismay over such unwholesome attitude, stressed that as foreign investors they are not only conversant with both Nigerian labour laws and the international labour laws but they are also adhering strictly to the provisions of those laws in the day-to-day running and management of the company.
He pointed out there is no way his workers would be asked to work on Saturdays and Sundays without any proper arrangement for overtime payment and urged the media to always balanced their reports before publications.
Editor’s Note: This is not a report by Secret Reporters but JSM who took selected media to the factory after we broke the news story