Search This Blog


Friday, 28 August 2015

Sally Mbanefo in trouble over NTDC staffers’ petition

 There seems to be an imminent threat to the job of Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, who came into office about two years ago.

Friday Flavor gathered that so far, so many petitions have been raised to this effect, all in a bid to get the President, Muhammadu Buhari to relieve her of the position. Two days ago, an indefinite strike was embarked upon by the staff of Nigerian Tourism Development Agency (NTDC) over the failure of the Director- General Mbanefo to abide by the agreement signed with the staff on 2nd of March 2015 on promotion, improper placement, use of consultancy services as well as other administrative issues that had hitherto generated controversies.

This development has halted activities in the agency. Tourism workers are alleging that the DG embezzled over N300m released by the Federal Government for the development of the Corporation, staff training and welfare and therefore demanded that President Buhari should sack her with immediate effect. Friday Flavour reported that workers embarked on an indefinite sit-out from 16th February to 5th March over the alleged embezzlement by the NTDC management led by Mbanefo over N1.2bn which was purportedly diverted to personal pockets while claiming to have used it for non-existing projects.

The staffers carried placards with inscriptions such as, ‘All We Are Saying: Sally Must Go’, ‘Domestic Tourism Promotion is not about visit to government house for selfish interest’; ‘Pls Baba, Save NTDC The Apex Tourism Implementing Agency From Extinction Under Sally’ among others.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on the issue, the Chairman, FCT Chapter of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Anthony Benjamin admitted that Mbanefo reneged on the signed agreement saying that the strike would continue until the DG was removed by President Muhammadu Buhari and replaced with a competent professional.

According to him, “we have copied our letters to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation but it appears that they don’t supervise the parastatals well because they all have problems”.

He said “today is the second day, don’t forget that during the February strikes, we succumbed to their appeals not because we were satisfy but out of patriotism for the growth and development of tourism; but this time around, it’s a fight to finish.” He described the DG as an incompetent tourism manager that has been squandering money in NTDC without achieving any meaningful result while regretting the fact those countries like Gambia, South Africa and Kenya etc depended on tourism for their economic growth.

On whether he was aware that no fund has been released for capital project this year, he said, “the overhead have been released which can be used in carrying out some of the projects needed”. Reacting to the strike, the Chairman NTDC branch of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Okpomo Samuel Unwuchola maintained that the DG signed an agreement with some individuals and private organisations with the aim of increasing the revenue of NTDC. He regretted that the DG failed to account for the proceeds realised through events sponsorship by these private organisations, adding that she has been engaging in reckless spending, employing people and placing them on jumbo salary ahead of more competent staff and other numerous misconducts.

According to him, “we are in charge of management of the entire tourist sites across the states but today, the tourist sites are dilapidated and cannot be upgraded by NTDC”. Unwuchola lamented that NTDC have shunned local and international festivals like Osun-Oshogbo, Argungun, Durbar as well as international exhibitions this year, which he believed was a contributory factor to the extinction of domestic tourism.

In March, the DG of NTDC, Dr Sally Mbanefo had denied the allegation of her involvement in the embezzlement of N1.2bn saying the allegation was baseless. Friday Flavour efforts to reach Mbanefo over the allegations against her proved abortive as she neither picked calls nor replied emails and text messages sent to her phone as at press time.

Source: National Mirror 

No comments:

Post a Comment