Akwa Ibom State Government has cleared the air on misconception following delay in payment of salaries and other entitlements to its workforce.

The Permanent  Secretary  in the Ministry of Finance, Elder Nse Ekefre who gave the explanation while interacting with executive members of NLC /TUC  Youth wing who called on him in his office said, that the welfare of public servants remain top priority of government.

 On the payment of 7.5 % pension fund, the Permanent  Secretary stated that government  was collaborating with labour leaders through a committee headed by the Head of Service to fashion out ways to fast-tract the payment process .

He also attributed the delay to collation and harmonization  of staff records occasioned by redeployments as well as IPSAS  rudiment which a lot of  account  staff are yet to be conversant with. He  expressed optimism that with the IPSAS  training programme underway,the teething problem would soon fizzle out.

On the 2014 leave grant, Elder Ekefre assured that his ministry was already working out schedule  for payment which would hopefully reflect on the October salary, and called for patience and understanding .

The Permanent  Secretary used the medium to thanked Governor  Godswill  Akpabio for establishing a perfect payroll system through the biometric mechanism which  he said has  yielded tremendous dividends especially the significant reduction in personnel cost.

Buttressing the facts, the Director Funds Monitoring   Department of the Ministry ,Elder Friday Udoh pointed out that contrary to the general notion, salary delay is caused by failure of different offices to submit their vouchers on time as payment is on first come first serve basis.

Elder Udoh noted that some offices were still submitting salary vouchers for the month of August  which State government  had already been settled a fortnight ago, describing the trend as counter-productive to the good intensions of the government. He added that  appropriate sanctions would  be issued to erring offices,while calling on Labour union to help in monitoring the accounts sections of MDAs on this issue.

Earlier, the President  of the youth wing of NLC /TUC  Akwa lbom state council, comrade Joseph John who led the team on the visit said they were on a fact finding mission as workers have been eager to know the outcome of the 7.5 % pension fund, thanking the Permanent  Permanent for taking time to clarify issues.

Comrade John  who noted that the constitution of their youth wing was to serve as what he termed ” eagle eyes ” to watch over activities of government employees,lauded the Permanent  Secretary for his sterling leadership qualities in the ministry as well as his humanitarian gestures in the state.

Highpoint of the visit was presentation of award in recognition  of his contributions to human empowerment  in the state civil service.

Also present during the visit were the directors of debt management, mr Eshiet  lkpe, that of admin, Mrs. Stella Etukakpan, and Mr. Effiong Umoumoh of the Account department.

Josephine  Etuk
Information   Officer
Ministry of finance

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