Staff of the recently revitalized Peacock Paint on Tuesday disrupted business activities in protest against the sack of the entire management staff over alleged corruption.
Peacock Paint Limited, a onetime foremost paint producer in Nigeria, was moribund for over 15 years and was recently revitalized by the present administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel in furtherance of the administration’s resolve to industrialise the state.
Despite its revitalization and ongoing production, the paint industry has been subjected to negative rumours and doubts cast on its true state by many in the state.
Some observers are of the view that the industry had not improved beyond the physical infrastructure.
The true state of Peacock Paint was, however, confirmed by the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Enobong Uwah, that Peacock was a major supplier of paint to the just completed 10th anniversary hotel building, recently converted to office accommodation for government ministries.
That being the case, and believing the industry is able to meet market demands with the product, the action of the aggrieved staff who barricaded the entrance of the company to ensure that there was no production or business transaction in the company as long as the protest lasted, was further proof that Peacock Paint had commenced business activities in earnest.
Addressing the staff of the industry, the Chairman of the company’s branch of National Union of Chemical and Allied Products, Comrade Emmanuel Robinson, accused management of the paint industry of embezzling the sum of N5.2million given to the company by the Akwa Ibom State government for the construction of the administrative block, destroyed by fire.
Robinson accused the management of the company of being insensitive to the plight of workers in spite of repeated appeals and dialogue by Union leaders with the management on the need to improve on workers welfare.
The union leader who called on the state government to conduct personnel audit to ascertain the actual staff strength in the company, also urged government to appoint a qualified chartered accountant to audit the account of the company.
He however pledged support for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s industrialization drive in the state and accused management of Peacock Paint of working against the interest of the state.
Efforts to speak with the General Manager of the company, Mr E. J. Umoete, proved abortive as calls to him were not answered.