His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State Prof Ivara Ejemot Esu on Wednesday inaugurated the committee to look into the wage bills of retirees, pensioners, staff who were overpaid and underpaid in the Local Government Service from January 2015 to date.
Speaking, Prof Ivara Ejemot Esu said the essence of the committee is to checkmate the lack of significant drop in the salaries of Local Government Service as staff are retiring and some are dying. According to him His Excellency, Senator Prof Ben Ayade is very concern and has ask him to set up a committee that will audit the wage bills of Local Government Service from January 2015 to May 2018 . He noted the State is aware of some people who goes about saying there have been owed several months by the local Government.
Prof Esu went further to state that the Government of Cross River is not happy when staff complains of being owed for many months. According to him His Excellency, Prof Ben Ayade does not like to hear such stories because he sees it as a serious blackmail against his effort on workers welfarism. He advised such workers to come out during this auditing with their bank statement and pay slip to authenticate their claims as failure to do so such staff will be probe and disciplined if he shows up on a later day.
Also Speaking, Auditor General of the State and the chairman of the committee, Mr Chris E Nyong assured His Excellency that the committee will do their very best to solve the problem being identified by the State Government.
In separate interview after the meeting, DG CRSPHCDA, Dr Betta Edu said though issues of unpaid and overpaid wage bills borders around Primary Healthcare staffs. She said the Agency have been addressing the issues from time immemorial to ensure those anomalies are corrected even though the happened before staff salaries were transferred to agency. On the issues of retirees she said the salary payment platform automatically take off any retiree from payment after due date and as such retirees do not still exist in the payroll of primary healthcare workers.
Adding to that, Chairman of SUBEB and Acting Managing Director of Cross River State Water Board Limited, Dr Stephen Odey said introduction of names into the payroll violate the civil service rules and such could not be done as every new employment to the board is approved by the State Governor and verify by the Civil Service Commission.
The Committee members includes, the Chairman, Mr Chris E. Nyong, Special Adviser Audit, Hon Jeremiah Ashua, Chairman Civil Service and LG service Commission Rosemary Obanya, Dr Peter Adigeb, Ag Auditor General LGSC, Charles Arako, Dr Stephen Odey, Mr Ekpo Michael Mbang, Dr Betta Edu, Comrade Godwin Ayendi, Comrade Ben Ukpebi, Elder Comrade Eyo Nsa Itam and Permanent Secretary LGSC, Samson S. Ogar will served as the Secretary of the committee.
Dignitaries at inauguration includes SSG Bar Tina Banku, Attorney General Barr Joe Abang, Commissioner for Local Government Hon John Ulafor, Commissioner for Health Dr Inyang Asibong, HOLGA Cal mum. Hon. Augustine and HOLGA Cal South, Mrs Christy Elemi.