By Mercy Nsa
Civil servants in Cross River State are perhaps enduring their worst Christmas holiday in several years after the state government appeared unable to pay salaries owed all categories of civil servants in the state, www.calitown.com can report. All week, rumours made the rounds that the civil servants will be paid their November salary, giving a ray of hope that was dashed at the close of work Wednesday when it filtered out that the salaries will not be paid.
A Source inside the Office of the Accountant-General of CRS informed www.calitown.com that “the A-G went to see the governor and we were certain that His Excellency will approve payment, but when the A-G came out of that meeting head bowed, we knew it wasn’t good news and salaries will not be paid, I think we can be hopeful that before the new year, something positive will come up”.
That optimism does not meet the expectations of most civil servants in the state who had expected that government will pay salaries owed them as at when due. One civil servant who prefers anonymity is angry that, “instead of working at having us paid, our governor went to donate N50 million to Goodluck Jonathan’s phantom campaign purse, leaving us to painfully struggle for bare essentials this Xmas period”.
Insiders however say the cash crunch that has hit the state coffers “is like that in almost all the states in Nigeria and if God is not on our side, it will become too difficult to at least pay staff salaries”, as one government source volunteered.
“Pensioners too are cursing Imoke under their breath. How can he say there’s no money but unfailingly collects his estacodes. I am a retired civil servant from the A-G’s office and l am beginning to live from hand to mouth because I have not been paid my pension. Please you people who can reach Imoke should tell him that he has carefully destroyed the goodwill he got from us pensioners and our prayer is let him pay us before he goes-o”, a pensioner concluded.
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