Amidst fears and worries across the country over shortfall in the federation allocation in April, workers in Akwa Ibom State have smiled to the bank following receipts of their April salaries.
The Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration has also started payment of over 40 years backlog of retirement benefits of retired and deceased primary school teachers.
It was gathered that while other states in Nigeria have started retrenchment and downsizing of their workforce, others have outrightly reversed the minimum wage from N30,000 to N18,000, rendering several families helpless and hopeless.
One of such states is Kaduna, where Governor Nasir El-Rufai had announced few days ago that he was not a magician and as such had no way he could cater for a bulky civil service.
His government also announced that it was reverting to the N18,000 minimum wage regime for civil servant in Kaduna.
This has not augured well for the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) which has resolved to declare an industrial action nationwide if the Kaduna State government goes ahead with its plans to sack civil servants and revert to the 18,000 naira minimum wage.
Recently, the Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri was quoted in the media as saying his state will be unable to pay the new minimum wage in March Diri to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
This explains the excitement that has greeted the news of prompt salary payments in Akwa Ibom despite the furore in other parts of the country.
Head of the Civil Service, Akwa Ibom State, Elder Effiong Essien told newsmen on Thursday that the state government further approved the payment of entitlements to 5,296 retired primary school teachers, 1,838 next of kin in the state from 1976 to 2000 which will be paid on batches.
“The payment of this entitlements commenced on Monday, we are hoping to clear the backlogs of the gratuities from 1976 to date. Those who successfully scaled through the verification exercise have received their payment.
“Currently, we have paid 97 next of kin, 67 living retired primary school teachers and 11 volunarables whose both physical and health condition was very pitiable. This payment will be done in batches till we successfully carry out the payment to all beneficiaries”, he assured.
The Head of Civil Service commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for being passionate and resolute in his leadership role, and described him as a workers’ friendly Governor who pays premium attention to the welfare of the workers.
“God bless our dear Governor,” Etop Jimmy, a civil servant told our reporter, as he confirmed alert of his April salary.