- BY EDIDEM UYA in Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel Akwa Ibom State has approved the release of promotion arrears for the over 6,000 workers in its employ who took part in the 2017/2018 promotion examinations.
The approval came just as the governor revealed that he inherited over N32 billion pension arrears from his predecessor.
Emmanuel, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Uyo, the state capital on the activities of the state government stressed that since coming on board he had been paying pension same time salary of civil servants were being paid.
“Even when things were so rough,” he said, “we didn’t 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 there 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 today that can say he does not get his pension on time. As we are paying salary, we are paying pension even gratuity we are clearing turn by turn,” he emphasised.
Corroborating what the governor said however,the State Head of Civil Service, Mr. Effiong Essien said Governor Emmanuel’s decision to approve and facilitate the release of the promotion arrears was to give way for the 2019 promotion to be closely followed.
Essien said the governor had 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.
The Head of Civil Service,who described the governor’s gesture as another demonstration of his usual sincere concern for state workers said in addition to regular payment of salaries and gratuities, the state government was also constructing affordable houses forworkers.
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 were to ensure that public servants own their own houses on a rent- to-own basis.
He thanked the governor for his continued concern for the workers and congratulated the benefiting workers as they migrate to their next grade levels.