C’RIVER: MDAs Cry out over two years unpaid salaries …barricade Governor's office, shut down operations at Waterboard

Workers of Cross River Geographic Information Agency (CRGIA) and their counterparts at the State Water Board Limited have protested the nonpayment of their 15 and 18 backlog of salaries respectively.

The staff of both MDAs who barricaded the governor’s office on Thursday  in protest of their unpaid salaries said they were tired of the ill treatment been meted out on them as many of them have been ejected from their homes because of they could not meet up with their rent.

Some of them who spoke with with pur reporter said they have been promised several times by different government officials that something will be done when the arrears was about six months but surprisingly nothing has been done for them till date.

One of the affected workers and a staff of CRGIA, Nelson Ibor said his landlord has charged him to court because he could not meet up with his house rent which elapsed since November 2017.

His words: “Our situation is like a nightmare we are begging God to wake us up from, we are being owed 15 months salaries while our directors and other management staff have received salaries till date. We are treated like beggars; I have three children and all of them have been seating at home for more than two terms.

“To make matters worse nobody is doing anything about it ,we have been left in the dark ,as we speak,16 of my colleagues have been thrown out of their houses already ,some sleep in churches while some sleep in uncompleted buildings ,we are really suffering ,His Excellency ,Prof Ben Ayade to look into our case because it has already gotten out of hands ,many of us collected bank loans that we don’t even know how to pay back.

In a letter they addressed to Gov Ayade they said that in 2017 alone they generated 260 million naira and their 15 months salaries was just a meager 55 million naira, they wondered why the government is not keeping to the terms of the law that established the agency which state that 5% of the revenue they generate should be aid to them.

The letter partly reads: We want to bring to the notice of Your Excellency the non-payment of salaries at CRGIA for over 15months; it would interest you to know that the Agency generated 260million in 2017, 400million in 2016 while it generated 800 in 2015 but our salary was just a meager 55 million yet nobody want to attend to our plight.

“We are appealing to His Excellency to come to our aid and help us clear the backlog of our salaries, most of our colleagues have died many are sleeping in churches because they have been thrown out if their houses, we are going through a lot of Psychological ,physical and emotional l trauma because of this ugly development .

On their part the staff of Cross River water Board Limited who also blocked the entrance to the governor s office demanded their 18 months salaries adding that they can no longer continue working without pay.

“They have owed us for one year and six months ,many of u]our counterpart have died ,some of us have  put in 12 years as ad-hoc staff(Casual ) workers ,we want the meager allowances to be paid now, some of us receive as low as 25,000 naira yet they have owed us this money for 18 months, we know Ayade has a listening ear ,he should help us from this predicament,” they bemoaned .

When contacted, the Director General of CRGIA, Patrick Agida referred our reporter to the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Christian Ita for clarification but he was unreachable as at the time of filing this report.

Responding, the Commissioner for Water resources, Mr. Odu Orji said efforts were been made to make sure that their salaries were paid.

“The governor whose philosophy is to make sure that there is food on the table of every Citizen of the state, has already directed Dr Stephen Odey to take charge of the place in a bid to ensure that the matter was handle appropriately, you people should exercise more patience the matter will be resolved in the soonest possible time,” he assured.
Governor Ben Ayade 647675879770777344

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