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Akwa Ibom commits to welfare of retired primary school teachers, families

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Akwa Ibom State Head of Civil Service (HOS), Effiong Essien, has refuted allegations by next of kin of retired primary school teachers that the state government was selective in the payment of their gratuity.

In a statement issued yesterday in Uyo, he said such claim was alien to the civil service and its payment process.

His reaction may not be unconnected to the lingering protests by family members of retired primary school teachers in the state whose parents have died in service or after retirement.

“The state government acknowledges the receipt of a letter from a group of some retired primary school teachers and their next of kin demanding payment of ‘their entitlements’ and assure them that measures are being taken to ensure that the issues are settled soon.

“Government wishes to state that ‘sampled payment,’ as alleged by the group is alien to the civil service and its payment process.

“Payment of pensions, gratuity and other financial entitlements to serving or retired staff members, as usual, have always been effected on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local governments basis or month of completion of documentation.

“However, government appreciates the civil manner in which the protesters registered their grievances and wishes to assure them that Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has the well-being of all workers, including teachers at heart and is not relenting in ensuring that all outstanding financial issues are given attention,” the statement reads.

Essien further disclosed that the state government inherited a backlog of un-cleared entitlement of workers dating back to 1991 on assumption of office in 2015, adding that the governor had cleared most of them.

He said modalities were worked out to commence the payment of gratuities to other categories of workers through a systematic payment of backlog of gratuities based on month of completion of documentation by the retirees through the Office of the state’s Accountant General.

“Government also automated the payroll system, which ensured that names of retiring staff on the eve of retirement are deactivated on the salary payment platform and activated on the pensions payroll,” he added.


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