A’Ibom flays Akpabio, denies illegal deductions from workers’ salaries

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A’Ibom flays Akpabio, denies illegal deductions from workers’ salaries

Akwa Ibom State Head of Service (HoS), Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan, yesterday said that there was no iota of truth in the claim that the state government deducted money from workers’ salaries for government’s events and activities.

She, however, warned politicians to desist from making baseless and misleading comments that could bring the wrath of God upon them.

While addressing newsmen yesterday in her office, Akpan described the allegation of deduction of workers’ salaries credited to the former governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as fictitious, noting that on the contrary, the government had not only been paying the workers complete salaries, but had been doing so promptly and regularly.

Akpabio, the former Senate Minority Leader, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) during APC campaign in the state on Sunday, was said to have claimed that the state government had been deducting N1, 300 from the salaries of civil servants to host government’s events.
But, in a swift reaction yesterday, Akpan described the claim as a desperate ploy by the opposition to taint Governor Emmanuel’s administration, explaining that it was impossible for any amount of money to be deducted from civil servants’ salaries without the knowledge and agreement of the labour unions.

“You don’t take one naira from workers’ salaries without the agreement of labour unions; they would have been here in protest if such stories were to be true,” she argued, adding that; “Governor Emmanuel is a problem-solver, who is not moved by cheap political propaganda, but is focused on welfare of civil servants.”

She listed the payment of 10 years’ backlog of salary abandoned the previous administration and the 7.5 per cent contributory pension scheme as some of the sterling achievements of the present administration.

Akpan said the 7.5 per cent contributory pension deductions took place between February 2005 and December 2013, and the governor had decided to intervene by refunding the money to the affected workers.

She stressed; “As you can see, I am sorting out the list by myself because we are going to pay the 7.5 per cent contributory pension money. When the money was deducted, the governor was not in office and this is something he inherited, but now he has taken the load because of his commitment to the welfare of the workers.

“We all remember that His Excellency cleared 10 years’ backlog of pensions and gratuities shortly on assumption and if not for the recession, he would have paid everything.”

Shedding more light on the payment of arrears and gratuities, the Head of Service (HoS) said the backlog of pensions had been cleared even as she added that adequate provision had been made for the 3,000 teachers recruited to receive salaries this month.

“You remember those newly employed 3,000 teachers, we have completed the processing of their data and they will be paid all their outstanding allowances as soon as possible.”

This was, however, corroborated by the state Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Akamba Awah, who carpeted the use of civil servants salaries for political events, saying that; “Anyone, who is coming to say that the state government is deducting money from workers’ salaries, was telling lies from the pit of hell.

“In my 30 years in service, we have always made a particular contribution to government, which is development levy, and that has not changed,” Awah said.

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