Okon Bassey in Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel yesterday revealed that his administration inherited a whopping sum of N32 billion pension arrears from previous administrations.
He gave the figure at a session with journalists in Uyo, the state capital, noting that since he assumed office, he had been paying pension alongside the salaries of civil servants.
He said: “Even when things were so rough, we did not owe even a day salary. Statutory allocation or no statutory allocation we have fixed date to pay salary.
“All those who said they have not received their salary or pension, tell them to come with evidence that they are state government workers.
“I inherited pension arrears of over N32 billion but there is no human being who had worked in the state civil service that can say he does not get his pension on time. As we are paying salary, we are paying pension. We are clearing gratuity turn by turn.”
Also, the governor disclosed that he had approved a release of promotion arrears for the over 6,000 workers, who took part in the 2017/2018 promotion examinations.
In an interview with journalists, the State Head of Civil Service, Mr. Effiong Essien confirmed Emmanuel’s decision to approve and facilitate the release which he said would pave the way for the 2019 promotion.
He said the governor also approved the release of funds for the scheduling of the pre-promotion examination seminar and subsequent conduct of the Administrative and Professional Officers Compulsory Class Examination (APOCE) and other promotion formalities.
Essien described the governor’s gesture as another demonstration of his usual sincere concern for his workers, saying in addition to regular payment of salaries and gratuities, the state government was also constructing affordable houses for workers.
He said the two housing estates located at Ikot Ntuen Nsit in Nsit Ibom local government area, along Abak Road and Ikpedip Ibiono /Itak Ikono, along Uyo Ikot Ekpene Road wouldn ensure that public servants own their own houses on a rent- to-own basis.
He commended the governor for his continued concern for the workers and congratulated the benefiting workers as they migrate to their next grade levels.
He charged the elevated workers to be dedicated to duties to reciprocate the governor’s kind gesture. He assured the governor of the continued support of the workers to enable him accomplish his completion agenda.