Former workers of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), who were sacked between 2018, 2019 and 2020, are crying for justice as the management is refusing to pay their end of service benefits.
NATCOM, the regulatory body of mobile companies in Sierra Leone, has been on the spotlight for all the wrong reasons under the leadership of the current management. It is understood that since those 52 workers were sacked, NATCOM only made an advance payment of 25% of their benefits to few and that since then, the commission has been turning a blind eye to the issue, though so many concerns have been raised about the plight of those sacked workers.
Among the sacked 52 workers, some are presently unemployed and are finding it difficult to make ends meet, whilst NATCOM’s current management is busy spending monies on property tax, which is not part of their mandate and have no business with.
Few weeks ago, NATCOM approved an amount of four hundred million Leones, which was allegedly used to raise awareness campaign on property tax in Bo, whilst past workers sacked three years ago are yet to receive their end of service benefits. It is understood that NATCOM’s management has been crying that the reason for their inability to settle the outstanding benefits of the sacked workers was due to the unavailability of funds, but ironical that the same institution could approve over four hundred million Leones to do sensitization on property tax, which is the responsibility of Local Councils or the Ministry of Local Government. What has NATCOM got to do with payment of property tax? asked a senior citizen who prefers to remain anonymous.
When contacted to get the side of the institution, Koba, a staff of NATCOM, attached to the Public Affairs Department, told Times SL that the issue surrounding the payment of the 52 workers was very serious, but how could one believe such when the current management is enjoying so many facilities with even bonuses being paid to workers. It is understood that the Director General at NATCOM, Daniel Kaitibi, is not willing to effect the payment.
It is against this back drop that the 52 workers are calling on President Julius Maada Bio to intervene and save their situation. Some of them have their families to feed, and since they were sacked, their situation remained terrible with nothing to keep them going.