In an unprecedented move, civil servants in Cross River State were treated to ‘monumental’ elation, on Sunday, May 1, 2016, following announcement from the state government that salaries for the month of May would be paid on that day.
The announcement was made by the state Governor Ben Ayade at the U.J. Eusene Stadium, venue of the May Day rally.
The workers rejoiced after receiving alerts on their phones, and they showered encomiums on Ayade, who was named the ‘Best Labour Friendly Governor in Nigeria’.
This is even as the governor also promised the workers that his administration would always ensure prompt payment of salaries.
“No infrastructure is more important than labour that is why in all my programs, I focus on people… Anybody who pulls down labour does not understand the philosophy of existentialism, hence the need for labour to come before infrastructure and skyscrapers,” the governor said.
It was also gathered earlier that Ayade has formed the ‘estimable’ practice of paying workers between the 13th and 20th of each month.
The governor does not await allocation from the federation account before paying workers; he achieves that through an ‘agreement’ signed with some banks.
Speaking on the plight of workers at the May Day rally in Abuja, Bobbio Kaigama, president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), advised governors to look beyond federal allocations.
He said: “Each state government should be proactive and look inwards to the state’s bountiful alternative sources of income rather than relying only on statutory monthly allocations from the federation account.”
Meanwhile, the civil servants in the State on Sunday has announced that they have forfeited four-year promotion arrears amounting to N3.8bn to be used for the development of the state.
Speaking on the matter, while presenting his speech during the 2016 May Day celebration in Calabar, the Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. John Ushie:
“The labour leaders and workers have observed with kin interest the enormous responsibilities shouldered by Governor Ben Ayade of the state in the area of projects.
“Following this development, workers have decided to support this administration by sacrificing all monies accruing from arrears of promotion within 2012-2016 to the tune of about N3.8bn.
“The organised labour in the state are grateful to Governor Ayade for the prompt payment of workers’ salaries in the state.”
The arrears were accumulated between 2012 and 2016.