Firms tackle cross River government over unpaid salaries
• It’s Supposed To Pay Its Workers — Government
Non-payment of staff salaries and take-over of Cross River Property and Investment Company (CROSPIL) building by the government has pitched the National Administrative Council (NAC) of Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) against government.
The governor, in September last year, paid a surprise visit to CROSPIL, which turned out to be a quit notice to the agency, and a private building complex under construction. In addition, the workers are owed several months of unpaid salary.
The governor, during his visit, told CROSPIL General Manager, Mr. Eno Obongha, and the entire staff to quit the place within seven days. He urged Obongha to tell the neigbouring estate developer to stop work, as government was taking over the place for a skill acquisition centre.
However, in a communiqué from its NAC meeting, signed by the President General, Dr. Ayo Olorunfemi and General Secretary Comrade Muhammad Yunusa, in Calabar at weekend, they said: “The attention of Cross River State government is being drawn to the neglect of one of its institutions, the CROSPIL. Staff have been pauperized, due to non-payment of salaries and allowances for years.
“It is more worrisome to note that Constructions and Fabrications Academy of West Africa is taking over CROSPIL premises. NAC appeals to government to halt the move and also calls on government to clear salaries and allowances owed staff …”
In a reaction to the non-payment of salaries and government’s take-over of the building, yesterday, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita, said: “CROSPIL is not part of government. It is a corporation. It is supposed to pay its workers from revenue it generates. Governor Liyel Imoke’s government gave it a subvention to help it stabilise, after which it was meant to foot its bill… ”On building project, he said it was government property and government had taken it to do metal fabrication academy.
“Now, government wants to put it into better use, by completing it and turning it into Microsoft and Data Academy and someone is talking about CROSPIL. In fact, the government is trying to buy the adjourning property, and it has opened up discussion with the owner to buy and join because government wants a very big facility. You know that the governor can revoke any land property for overriding public interest or on the grounds of the breach of the draft. The governor holds it in trust. Government cannot allow such buildings to lie fallow like that for rodents and criminals without being used”.
CROSPIL was established in 1969 under the name Cross River State Housing Corporation by the then South Eastern State Government, Edict No 14 of 1969 and was amended by the South Eastern State Housing Corporation amended Edict 1972 and the statutory corporation amended provision Edict of 1977.
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