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Jonathan's Family Firm Kakatar sacks 1,000 Staff

Azibaola Robert

Kakatar Construction Company, one of the biggest in­digenous construc­tion companies in Nigeria owned by Mr. Azibaola Robert, a cousin to former Presi­dent Goodluck Jonathan, has laid- off over 1,000 workers.
According to report, the employees were dis­engaged in batches, first in June and last month follow­ing the company’s inabili­ty to keep” thousands of the workers who merely report to work daily without doing anything.”
Kakatar is being owed over N10 billion by the Federal Government for vari­ous construction projects. On top of that, its accounts were frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commis­sion (EFCC) in the wake of investigation of the oper­ations of a sister company, OnePlus Holdings, over a $40 million pipeline securi­ty contract.
In the Federal Capital Ter­ritory (FCT) alone, Kaka­tar is building infrastructure for Maitama Extension and Kyami Districts, as well as the Karshi-Apo Expressway which is expected to help de­congest traffic into the FCT from the AYA/Mararaba axis.
The source however com­mended Kakatar for keeping its workers for several months, and for continuing work on projects long after other con­struction companies aban­doned their sites and laid-off thousands of workers.
The source lamented that Kakatar’s sack of the workers was bound to negatively affect the economy, saying, “this is one indigenous construction company that had begun giv­ing the so-called big names in the industry nightmares.”
When contacted, Kakatar’s Media Manager, Mr. Austin Ekeinde, said that the compa­ny is rationalising its oper­ations but declined to con­firm the number of workers affected, saying it was “man­agement’s economic decision.”
He said: “We are not the first construction company to lay off workers. Even banks have been disengaging their workers, so I wonder why this is of particular interest to your newspaper.”
On the alleged freezing of the company’s accounts, Ekeinde said he was unable to confirm the information but said that Kakatar has faced challenges from the EFCC on an issue that had nothing to do with it. He also confirmed that like several construction com­panies, the Federal Govern­ment was indebted to Kaka­tar, but declined to disclose the amount.


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