Local Government workers in Akwa Ibom state have not received their annual leave grants for three years now.
A former head of service in Uyo Local Government, Dr. Emmanuel Akpabio, who spoke to our correspondent, said the predicament of the local government workers started when Senator Godswill Akpabio left the Government House. “Until the present state government came on board, leave grants used to be regular and sacrosanct, but the government of Udom Emmanuel has been indifferent to the welfare of local government workers.
“When he assumed office in 2015, he did not pay us till 2018 December, when he was campaigning for his second term, he hurriedly paid 2015 and 2016, just to buy our support. He promised that he will offset the remaining as well as the minimum wage, but today, he has no ears for local government workers. He is even against the financial autonomy of the local governments.”
Also speaking, Chairman of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in one of the Local Governments in Eket Federal Constituency said Local Government workers in Akwa Ibom were experiencing their worst days in this present administration.
According for him, the state government was sitting on the development of the local governments and feasting on the treasury. That’s why they are fighting against our financial autonomy.
NULGE officer from Onna Local Government, who, for fear of being axed expressed shock that a governor who speaks much of development and empowerment was fighting against the development of the local government and the empowerment of civil servants.
“He was the first to accept to pay the N30,000.00 minimum wage and also the first to kick against the financial autonomy of the local government it is a terrible irony,” he exclaimed.
A director in the administration department of the local government service commission confirmed that the state government was owing the three years leave grant and that they would pay as soon as possible.