While workers in the Cross River State Civil Service from Grade Level 07 to 16 silently resent the decision of the Office of the Head of Service, CRS, to compulsorily deduct their salaries under the guise of providing them with laptops, www.calitown.com investigations reveal that civil servants affected by this compulsory deductions may be paying through the sky to acquire the laptops.
Those in the know point to the fact that the HP laptop being offered to the civil servants at about N125, 000, can be gotten in the open market for around N76, 000. Again, specific attention was drawn to the fact that because the Office of the Head of Service is making a bulk purchase for around 17, 000 civil servants, there is indeed a clear chance that the office will get a discount on the purchase.
One rather intriguing part of the laptop deal is the fact that the HOS’s Office is believed to have opted to obtain the laptops through an Asaba, Delta State based company, First Brightway Vision Limited, with office at Plot 1 SSS Junction, Off Anwai Road, Asaba, when it would have dealt with HP directly or patronized local firms operating and paying tax in the state. Of the eight board members of the company; I. Olisemeka, M. Obi, D. Odigie, K. Isibor, A. Ikediashi, L. Raheem, C. Obi and company secretary, Hadiza Mahmud Victoria, non is from Cross River State, just like it is difficult to say if the company has any presence in the state.
The CRS chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress is being carpeted for not objecting to the deductions. Informed sources told www.calitown.com that “Labour should have called for a congress where this issue should have been debated among us before its implementation. We are now left to believe that Labour has been compromised and if it is so, it is regrettable”. Allegations are making the rounds that there is a sharing formula in place for proceeds from the laptop deal but the list of beneficiaries outside the Office of the HOS already fingered was unavailable at press time. Painfully, a civil servant who spoke to www.calitown.com on condition of anonymity bemoaned his fate and those of others in these words; “a lot of us are already servicing facilities, what this deduction means is that we have been stripped bare of our earnings and confined to months of suffering because someone must sell laptops to us. Most civil servants have laptops and needed no addition, but we are trapped now. Top government sources declined comments on this issue.
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