Labor Union critical of EIIDE’s excessive rent

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The basic labour union of the Ethiopian Industrial Input Development Enterprise (EIIDE) has filed a claim to the Ministry of Industry (MoI) about the challenges that the enterprise faces.
In the 15 page letter employees address what they feel are strengths and challenges of EIIDE.
The letter was sent to  MoI on Monday July 9 and copied to nine public offices including the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Trade and the EIIDE board. In it 14 problems were addressed.  The enterprise was expected to feed the industrial sector by supplying inputs and encouraging the producers to distribute  manufactured products with widespread distribution centers across the country.
However they stated that several problems like misconduct and  lack of proper management have caused  the body to be endangered.
According to the letter that Capital obtained, the management and the former board have not managed the organization well.
The enterprise is renting an office around Vatican Embassy for around 13 million birr a year. That price rises one million birr every year.
Mohammed Awel, Chairman of the trade union.
says the enterprise uses the building located in Piazza as its head office.
EIIDE was formed about four years ago by taking most of the operation of Merchandise Wholesale and Import Trade Enterprise (MEWIT), which was established in 1993 through a merger between trading groups, including the Ethiopian Domestic Distribution Corporation and the Ethiopian Import Export Corporation.
The letter claimed when MEWIT was formed the office of the Import Export Corporation was not transferred to MEWIT and it should be returned and an  additional office made for EIIDE rather than paying a huge amount for rent.
They also said that there have unlawful sales and procurement of rebar.
The letter indicated some managers overseeing millions of birr have fled abroad or abruptly quit.
The 3,000 employee enterprise handles 14 billion birr in materials. They letter is asking for the governments help to properly manage the agency.
Recently Capital reported that about three months ago the founding CEO of EIIDE, Asfawossen Alene fled to the US with his deputy, the CEO for Procurement, Abay Kebede.
Employees said there has been corruption at the agency related to rebar fraud.
In his email Abay sent to Capital from the US he argued that he did not flee to the US but instead is on annual leave for medical reasons. However the human resource division   reported that  Abiy is absent from his duty without getting approval for  annual leave.
EIIDE recently hired a new board chairperson and other new blood in the board of directors including MelakuAlebel, the recently appointed Minister of Trade, who was assigned to chair the board, and Ahmed Tussa, the recently assigned State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation.
The former board was chaired by Mebrahtu Melese (PhD), who is now state Minister of Trade.
Capital’s effort to talk BogaleFeleke, State Minister for the Ministry of Industry, who is responsible to look after the enterprise, was unfruitful.