Akwa ibom state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has ordered the deduction of salaries of political office holders in response to the dwindling resources owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A press.release signed by the secretary to the state government and chairman COVID-19 management committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, said the slash of political official office holders by 20% was as results if economic realities facing the state.
“In response to the prevailing economic realities of dwindling revenues, caused by the crash in the price of crude oil in the global market, His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has painfully directed, the slashing of salaries of all political office holders by 20%.
“His Excellency the Governor was confronted with an urgent need to take decision on either of two painful options: continue to pay the current salaries for a while and end up being totally unable to pay same subsequently or spread the discomfort (20% cut) sustainably over a period of time pending the return of crude oil price to normalcy in the global market.
“We must not forget that it was by the same ancient principle of ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, that led to the establishment of the Akwa Ibom State Post COVID-19 Economic Recontruction Committee by His Excellency the governor, to recommend navigable routes out of this global economic morass for our State.
“Let us all know and appreciate the fact that these measures are temporary. Akwa Ibom State Government will transparently resume full payment of salaries when this dark cloud PASSES.
God bless Akwa Ibom State,” the release said
But state council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the governor never to tamper with salaries of civil servants in the state as that would lead to resistance from organised labour.
The state chairman of NLC, Comrade Sunny James told The Sun that government had already held a meeting with Labour on he matter but Labour rejected it
” We told them that they should go and implement it with political office holders
“Maybe that’s what they are trying to do now so that they can bring it to us. But we will resist it
“We know the amount that comes to this state. In a time like this, you encourage people to have some money in their hands
” What is normally done in such times is to reduce capital expenditure and allow recurrent to serve.the people.
” So if they try to bring it again, we will resist it,” James said