Monday Ogbodum, the chairman of the Cross River chapter of the Trade Union Congress, disclosed that Governor Ben Ayade refused to promote no civil servants in the last seven years.
Mr Ogbodum stated this while speaking with journalists on Thursday in Calabar on a wide range of issues affecting workers under Mr Ayade’s eight years that comes to an end on May 29.
The TUC chairman, who scored the outgoing administration low on workers’ welfare, said that workers had the worst welfare under the administration besides the regular payment of salaries and pensions. Mr Ogbodum said the last time retirees were paid gratuity was in 2014.
“A committee put in place by the government to actualise and effect payment has become moribund after the initial release of the sum of N200 million in January to April 2022, which could not accommodate all retirees in March 2014,” stated the TUC chair.
He added, “No further release has been made by the government. Therefore, payment of gratuities to state retirees from April 2014 and local government workers from 2012 is still pending.”
On the payment of salaries and pension, Mr Ogbodum said while the workers still awaited salary for April, the administration had been regular with a payment despite being often delayed.
“Annual incremental rate used to be a thing of joy and a little relief to workers when at the month of January every year, a token is being added to their salaries, but the government had reneged on this, despite the MOU entered into,” Mr Ogbodum stressed.
The TUC leader added, “Supply of computers: Workers’ salaries were deducted for this purpose and up till now, some workers have not been supplied computers. The committee, as captured in the MOU to ascertain the outstanding liabilities, has not been set up by the government.”
He further said that the last minimum wage was yet to be fully implemented by the outgoing administration, stressing that only workers from levels one to six had fully enjoyed payment of the minimum wage while it was yet to be fully implemented for workers on levels seven to 17.
Mr Ogbodum, who doubles as the chairman of the Senior Civil Servants Association of Nigeria, tasked the incoming administration of Bassey Otu to prioritise workers’ welfare to get the best out of them.
“As I speak with you, workers’ morale in Cross River is at its lowest ebb, and the incoming administration must put a mechanism in place to boost their morale,” he stated.
Mr Ayade, on the May Day celebration, lifted an embargo on workers’ promotion to boost their morale in Cross River.