Cross River State governor, Bassey Otu, has assured civil servants in the state that the backlog of gratuities owed retired civil servants in the state will be comprehensively paid, as a deliberate government response to the yearnings and aspirations of the people. He has also set himself the task of making sure this is achieved between now and December.
The governor made this commitment in Calabar, the state capital, when he swore in Innocent Eteng, the new CRS Head of Service.
He came clear that, “…it is saddening that someone would serve for 35 years, save for a rainy day, and then die for lack of cash to attend to his/her health needs; such an ugly trend must stop. We want civil servants to be focused in their places of assignment, knowing that their contributory pension is due them at the end of the day. Because without these people, continuity in governance would not be possible.”
On the depletion of experienced personnel in the service, Otu informed that his administration is already working at the retention of some retirees, to mentor and transfer knowledge to a younger generation of civil servants.
To the new Head of Service, the governor reminded him that, “…to whom much is given, much is expected. You are coming at a very precarious time where the state civil service is on the brink. We want you to rejig and put things in proper perspectives. We want to build a smart civil service; you will understand that we do not play politics with civil servants. The civil service is very important as the engine of government, so we want you to rejig and put it in proper perspectives. Due process must be prioritised at all times,” the governor emphasized.
He further assured the HoS that, “my doors would be open to you at all times.”
Secretary to the CRS government, Anthony Owan Enoh, described Eteng, who until his appointment was Permanent Secretary in the SSG’s office, as someone who has risen to the echelon of the civil service not by sponsorship, but by achievement and a dint of hard work and further described him as a man of intellect, robust energy, hardworking and sound, whose appointment is so well-deserved, while expressing confidence in his ability to improve the civil service of the state.
In his response, the new Head of Service, thanked the governor for finding him worthy of the onerous assignment of recalibrating and reforming the state civil service, assuring him that he will do this job to the best of his ability.
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