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Labour pickets HoS office in Cross River over N25,000 directors’ exam fee

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Members of organised labour, yesterday, picketed the Cross River State Secretariat in Calabar over N25, 000 fee the Head of Service (HoS) allegedly collected from directors to write their permanent secretaries examination.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other affiliate unions besieged the HoS Office at the new state secretariat, chanting solidarity songs and demanding a refund of the N25, 000 to directors, who had paid to write their promotion examination, a development that grounded activities at the secretariat.

They accused Ayade of earlier approving the appointment of two permanent secretaries without taking the examination.

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Addressing members of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), state chairman, Raymond Akan, said they had written several letters to the HoS to stop collecting money from directors, who were due for promotion examinations, but she remained adamant.

“We did everything necessary to stop her from collecting the money, but she was adamant. We are not on strike, we are only picketing her office.

“Some people have been promoted already without writing the examination. We have said we are not afraid of the examination. They should return the money and allow people to write the promotion examination,” he said.

Also speaking, Chairman of TUC, Monday Ogbodum, said the picketing was aimed at driving their demands to the state government and to stop the HoS from further collecting the illegal fee from directors to write their promotion examination.

He lamented that of the 275 directors in the state’s civil service about 150 have already paid the N25, 000, adding that the 2016 promotion of some directors had not been implemented.

“I assure us that this is a collective exercise with organised labour and the joint council. The HoS may see us as hungry labour, but I charge all of us to be strong and focus on our drive. And until she returns the money, we will not leave here,” he said.

On his part, chairman, State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (SJNC), Godwin Otei said: “We are not fighting the state government. We are only asking government to do the needful. We are very disappointed and that is why we are picketing the office of the HoS.”

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