While sources inside Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, have confirmed to www.calitown.com that Cross River State has received a princely N7.856bn as bail-out funds, with a rider from the CBN that governors must “prioritise salary payments before other obligations”, it appears that the Cross River State Government and the Labour Union in the state are locked in a disagreement over how the funds should be deployed and the constitution of the committee to oversee the deployment.
The matter came out in the open yesterday when the Labour Union circulated a memo in which it insisted that the amount be used in the payment of outstanding gratuities and pensions, promotion arrears, as well as the payment of salary arrears to local government staff, CRUTECH staff, health staff and weigh-in allowances. It was further disclosed to www.calitown.com that Labour believes if it does not raise alarm, the funds may be deployed not according to specification, but at the instance of state governor, Ben Ayade.
Already, rumours are rife that government has put the amount in a fixed deposit account in one commercial bank in Calabar to draw interest, but the reality of the situation remains that while the
House of Assembly may have given Ayade her nod to collect the money, the absence of an Executive Council in the state and a written authorization from the Council, seemingly stands between Ayade and the funds, we gather.
Labour’s insistence on the money being spent judiciously stems from the experience in the past where funds collected are not properly spent, making government unable to meet her obligations to workers in the state.
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