Governor Benedict Ayade of Cross River State has constituted a nine-member committee, comprising of labour stakeholders to verify retirees due for gratuities and disburse N200 million to settle their outstanding payments.
The nine-man Committee which is made up of both Government and Labour is headed by Joseph Adie, state Accountant General as Chairman.
Head of Service in the state, Mr. Timothy Ogbang Akwaji, had inaugurated the committee on behalf of Governor Ayade and listed their terms of reference.
He charged the Committee to place integrity and transparency as top priorities as they come up with an equitable template for payment.
The state governor had released the sum of N200 million to commence payment of gratuities to retirees in the state last week.
Akwaji said the release is in fulfilment of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Cross River State Government and Organized Labour (comprising Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (Union Side), Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress), dated the 10th November, 2021, which was midwifed by HRH, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, Chairman of the Cross River State Traditional Rulers’ Council, after a protracted Labour unrest in 2021.
According to the MOU, “the State Government agreed to set aside a minimum of N50 million respectively every month with effect from January, 2022 for the payment of gratuities to both State and Local Government retirees with an additional allocation up to the maximum of that month’s and or year’s gratuity in any month and or year where the revenue inflows increase.”
He said the release of the money, in spite of challenging inflows, was a demonstration of government’s commitment and sensitivity to the plight of senior citizens who had served the state meritoriously.
Responding, the State Account General and Chairman of the Committee, Sir Joseph Adie thanked the governor for swinging into swift action to intervene in the plight of the senior citizens.
He appealed to the Governor to effectively build trust between the government and the governed.
Other members of the committee are: Eld. Emmanuel Enene Eke, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development as – Alternate Chairman; others are, Comrade John Odey, State Auditor General, Comrade Effiong Ita Umo, Special Adviser, Labour, Comrade Ben Ukpepi, State Chairman, NLC, Comrade Monday Ogbodum, State Chairman, TUC, Comr. Godwin Otei, Chairman, JPSNC, Barr. Clarkson Otu, Secretary, Joint Negotiating Council, and Barr. Ben T. Olom, Director of Administration, Ministry of Finance, Secretary.