… 8 YEARS 7.5% CONTRIBUTORY PENSION REFUND UNDERWAY
The Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan, says there is no iota of truth in the claim that Akwa Ibom State Government deducts any amount from the salary of workers in the state to host government events.
She has also warned politicians to desist from making baseless and misleading comments that can attract the wrath of God upon them.
Addressing newsmen in her office Tuesday, Mrs. Akpan described the claim of deductions in workers’ salaries, attributed to Senator Godswill Akpabio as fictitious, noting that on the contrary, government is not only paying complete salaries to workers, but doing so on time.
Former Senate minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, during the Campaign Church service by the APC in Akwa Ibom State, Sunday made claims that the state government is involved in the act of deducting a N1,300 from the salary of civil servants to host government events.
But the sharp reaction by the Number One civil servant in the state indicated that the statement as a desperate ploy by the opposition to taint the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Mrs. Akpan explained that it was impossible for any amount of money to be deducted from the salary of civil servants without the knowledge and agreement of the labour unions, saying, “You don’t take one naira from workers without the labour union agreeing; they would have been here in protest if such stories were to be true.”
She described Governor Udom Emmanuel as a problem solver who is not moved by cheap political propaganda but focused on the welfare of civil servants.
“Tell our politicians that for every careless word they utter, they will give account. This is as recorded in the Holy Bible.”
She made reference to the cleared 10 years backlog of salaries which she said the previous administration had long abandoned, adding that the currently the 7.5% deductions for contributory pension scheme will be paid by the end of the week.
Mrs Akpan said the deductions took place between February 2005 and December 2013, and the Governor has decided to intervene by refunding the money to the affected workers.
“As you can see, I am sorting out the list by myself because we are going to pay the 7.5% contributory pension money. When the money was deducted, His Excellency was not there, this is something he inherited, but now he has taken the load because of his commitment to the welfare of the workers. So the 7.5 for those that were not paid their refunds, we are trying to do it.
“We all remember that his Excellency cleared 10 years backlog of pensions and gratuities shortly on assumption and if the recession didn’t hit like it did, he would have paid everything.”
Shedding light on the payment of arrears and gratuities, the Head of Service said that the backlog of pensions have been cleared, adding that adequate provisions has been made for the 3000 teachers recruited to receive salaries this month.
“You remember those newly employed 3000 teachers, we have finished processing their data and they will be paid all their outstanding allowances shortly.
This was corroborated by the state Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Akamba Awah, who carpeted such resort to the use of civil servant as political capital by politicians.
“Anybody who is coming to say that Government is deducting money from the salaries of workers is telling lies from the pit of hell.
“In my thirty years in service, we have always made a particular contribution to government, which is development levy, and that has not changed.
Comrade Awah said that labour was not ready to be dragged into unnecessary political blackmail by political jobbers, and will continue to support the government of Mr Udom Emmanuel which has shown great interest in the welfare and wellbeing of workers.