Akwa Ibom HOS denies alleged illegal deductions from workers’ salaries

Governor Udom Emmanuel during the swearing-in of Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem as the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, SSG.

Ekereobong Akpan, the Akwa Ibom Head of Service (HOS), on Wednesday, said there was no illegal deduction from the salaries of civil servants in the state to fund government’s events.

Mrs Akpan made this known at a news conference in Uyo in reaction to an alleged deduction of N1,300 from the salary of each worker in the state to fund government events.

“There is no iota of truth in the claim that the Akwa Ibom government deducted some amount of money from the salaries of workers in the state.

“The government is not only paying complete salaries of workers but also paying on time,’’ she said.

She cautioned politicians in the state to desist from making baseless and misleading assertions that “can attract the wrath of God upon them.”

The HOS described the allegation as a desperate ploy by the opposition to taint the image of the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Mrs Akpan said it was impossible for any amount of money to be deducted from the salary of civil servants without the knowledge and agreement of labour unions.

“You don’t take one naira from workers without the labour union agreeing. They would have been here in protest if such stories were true.

“Governor Emmanuel is a problem solver who is not moved by cheap political propaganda but focused on the welfare of civil servants.

“I want our politicians to know that for every careless word they utter, they will give account, as it is recorded in the Holy Bible,’’ Mrs Akpan said.

Mrs Akpan said that the 7.5 per cent contributory pension deductions earlier made from workers’ salaries would be refunded by Friday.

She said the deductions took place between February 2005 and December 2013, adding that the governor had promised to refund the money to the affected workers.

“As you can see, I am sorting out the list by myself because we are going to pay the 7.5 per cent contributory pension money.

“When the money was deducted, His Excellency was not there; this is something he inherited, but now, he has taken the load because of his commitment to the welfare of workers.

“We all remember that His Excellency cleared 10 years arrears of pensions and gratuities shortly on assumption and if the recession didn’t hit like it did, he would have paid everything,” she said.

She also said adequate provisions had been made for the newly recruited 3,000 teachers in the state to receive salaries this month.

“You remember those newly employed 3000 teachers. We have finished processing their data and they will be paid all their outstanding salaries and allowances shortly,” she said.

Akamba Awah, the chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, also said “there were no formal reductions of N1, 300 from salaries of civil servants in the state.

“Labour is not ready to be dragged into unnecessary political blackmail by political jobbers in the state.”

(NAN)

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