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May Day: Gov Otu increases minimum wage to N40,000

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has said henceforth, the least paid worker in the state will go home with N40,000 monthly, instead of…

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has said henceforth, the least paid worker in the state will go home with N40,000 monthly, instead of N30,000.

He made this announcement in his address to workers when they celebrated this year’s Workers’ Day at UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar.

He said he increased the wage based on economic reality as well as the lean federal allocations accrued to the state, and not out of sentiments.

Otu said his government was very appreciative of workers even though their industrial output  was only  5 per cent which was very poor.

He said, “Government considers its workforce as the driver of lofty projects and programmes for the common good of the people. Workers in the State are always held in high esteem to achieve good results, which reason  prompt payment of salary and pension has been up to date.”

“The State Government is presently on the verge of concluding necessary arrangements for the staggered payment of outstanding gratuity to its retired workers. I therefore sue for a little patience from the pensioners in this regard.”

However,  the Organised Labour  in the  State have have accused the state government of neglect and deceit, calling for open recruitment of employable youths to fill up various vacant positions.

Chairman of TUC, Comrade Monday Ogolodom, said the administration deceived the senior citizens  when it failed to deliver its promise to clear off backlog of gratuities since 2013.

Addressing workers, Ogolodom said, “Payment of gratuity in the state has become a mirage. I recall on the 4 of October, 2023, during the swearing-in of the Head of Service, Innocent Eteng, His Excellency, the  Governor made a very welcoming, sweet and promising speech, saying “before the end of December, 2023 all backlog of Gratuity in the state shall be cleared”.

“Today is 1″ May 2024, 4 (four) months after, nothing has started”, adding that this has portrayed the governor in bad light and appealed to him to set up machinery towards actualizing the promise  as some of our elder statesmen and women were dying due to lack of funds for medications.

He alleged that bribes for promotion were now rampant, adding that it was appalling and discouraging for industrious and qualified workers.

He described as unending the verification exercise that was supposed to weed out ghost workers in the state, saying this has denied workers overdue promotions.

He called on government to officially embark on recruitment exercise instead of secret recruitments.

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