Jubilee Syringe will not bow to blackmail – Management
Writing with the above caption and published in THE MAIL Newspaper of Thursday, 17 October 2019, and several online platforms, with the intent to blackmail, ridicule and smear the image of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Limited – JSM, and pit the company against the Government and the good people of Akwa Ibom State, the writer of the poorly investigated article and his paymasters goofed and misfired as their antics and ill intention(s) fly in the face of logic and truth.
While some persons may wish to ignore publications such as the one in question for several reasons, it is often important to refute false publication(s) especially, when the person(s) or institution(s) targeted in the falsehood is not guilty of the issue raised in the story.
As a responsible establishment, we would not have responded to such cheap blackmail, but for the benefit of the good people of Akwa Ibom State and the general public, we are constrained to respond to the plethora of lies and misleading narratives told by the writer and his paid agents. This unpopular and ill-conceived attempt to smear the image of Jubilee Syringe if not refuted could send wrong signals and create wrong impression in the minds of the general public about the company.
It is unfortunate that politics in this clime has become a tool that is deployed by politicians to gain mileage or advantage in their pursuit without regards to morality. Blackmail, character assassination and mudslinging are sadly common denominators that are employed with all the attendant damage to the society. This is obviously the position we have unfortunately found ourselves as a company. But as a focused body, we will not succumb to blackmail. We will pursue our cardinal objective of creating job opportunities for Nigerians, especially, Akwa Ibomites as the largest syringe factory in Africa.
The writer in the article erroneously claimed that “the company, since it began operations in the state in 2017, has not remitted personal income tax it has been deducting from the salaries of its workers to the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service, until weeks ago when pressure from organised labour began mounting on them” (sic). This is not only a display of insincerity but the height of infantilism by the originator(s) of the story. Jubilee Syringe is NOT indebted to the AKS Board of Internal Revenue in anyway whatsoever. The company is up-to-date with its record books especially regarding remittance and could not have diverted such funds for another purpose as insinuated by the writer. We emphasise that Jubilee Syringe is in tax compliance and the state government has not lost any revenue on account of our company. As a matter of fact, Jubilee Syringe is one of the very few organisations in the state that has one hundred percent record in tax remittance to the state.
Again regarding remittance of workers’ pension, the company has on record all pensions deducted from its employees in accordance to Pension Reform Act, duly remitted to Pension Fund Administration – (PFA) account. It is therefore comical for people whom we expect should know better to feed the public with unverifiable information in an attempt to disrupt the peaceful coexistence currently enjoyed by both the Akwa Ibom State government and Jubilee Syringe. We wish to advice that they refrain from such ignoble and irascible conduct.
More fundamentally, the writer, in his myopic and twisted submission wrote: “in attempt to save face and hide from the dirty deals, the management of the company had on February 27, 2019 sacked the Union Leader and members of Jubilee Syringe branch of Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN) without recourse to laid down labour laws”. Again, a display of juvenile journalism. Writing without proper research? Where is the ethical demand of balanced reportage?
The company is not aware of SEWUN or any other Union to be in existence within Jubilee Syringe. This automatically exposes the hollowness of the claim by the writer that the company sacked the union leader and members of the company. We challenge the writer or anybody for that matter to come up with evidence of existence of any such union.
As the largest syringe producer in Africa, we rely heavily on our work force to achieve maximum productivity. Our production of 400 million syringes annually can only be achieved by diligence and corporation of our dedicated employees. The management and employees of Jubilee Syringe have set themselves a high bar of reaching every corner of Africa with syringes proudly produced in Akwa Ibom. Ineptitude and laxity are inconsistent with this grand vision. When four workers of Jubilee Syringe repeatedly demonstrated their lack of commitment to the vision, the company had no recourse but to terminate their appointment.
As a responsible organisation that is conscientious and committed to the rule of law, Jubilee Syringe paid the four sacked personnel one full month salary in lieu of termination notice according to Nigerian Labour Act. The sacked workers nominated a means through which the payment should be made and the company granted their request. They acknowledged the payment without protest.
We therefore call on the general public to disregard the article, as the issues raised therein are false in its entirety. It is obvious that this is the handiwork of few unconscionable persons, who are bent on tarnishing the image and reputation of responsible people and organisations for their selfish gains.
We would like all Akwa Ibomites to know that Jubilee Syringe will not bow to blackmail and extortion and no matter what obstacles these unscrupulous puppeteers lurking in the shadows throw at us, we will overcome them. Jubilee Syringe will do everything within its power to ensure a cordial relationship between Akwa Ibom State government, its agencies and institutions, particularly the Revenue Services according to the law. The company will continue in its already robust relationship with the health service providers, the host community and the general public.
Signed by Management