Akwa Ibom State Government has put paid to all issues concerning the payment of entitlements of retired Primary School Teachers/Next of kin with the inauguration of an Eight-man Committee to ensure fool-proof and hitch-free process of the exercise.

The Committee was inaugurated earlier today, Friday, 5th February, on behalf of the State Government by the Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien in his office.

The committee which has the Permanent Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board, Elder Ezekiel Umoh, as Chairman, is to work out modalities for a successful payment exercise, within 2 weeks from the date of inauguration.

Members of the committee include: the Permanent Secretaries, Office of the Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Ekaete Ekanem, Ministry of Local Goverment and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ini James Ikie as well as Local Government Service Commission, Mrs. Abasiekeme V. Essien. Others are, Mr. Idim Uwatt, Chief Accountant, Office of the Accountant General, the Chairperson, Nigeria Labour Labour Congress, Comrade Sunny James, Chairman, Forum of Primary School Teachers, Rev. (Dr.) Felix Cookey, while Doris Ikpuho, an assistant Director, Office of the Head of Civil Service, is to serve as Secretary.

Among the terms of reference of the Committee are: to verify the service records of living and dead retired Primary School teachers in the state, calculate the entitlements of the affected retirees, and to segment as appropriate, the beneficiaries for payment.

Speaking during the inauguration, the Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien, reiterated government’s commitment to addressing all outstanding labour issues, explaining that, the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has demonstrated this through the holistic handling of issues using Government-Labour Committees.

Elder Effiong Essien used the forum to express his appreciation to the State Governor and other Stakeholders for the concern, efforts and arrangements put in place to end the protracted issue of the retired teachers/next of kin entitlements payment.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee, the Chairman, Elder Ezekiel Umoh, who is also the Permanent Secretary, State Universal Education Board, thanked the State Governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel for his sincere concern for teachers welfare and for making funds available for the payment.

Elder Ezekiel Umoh also commended the Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien for his concerted effort and the Commissioner, Ministry of Local Goverment and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Frank Archibong, for his initiative and cooperation in making funds available for the payment.

He assured of the committees’ commitment to deliver on its mandate.

Wisdom Bassey

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