by crossriverwatch admin
The editorial team of CrossRiverWatch have insisted that the details contained in the report published today that the Cross River state government has contracted an Indian firm, Educom to recruit teachers for the state in a deal that will cost the state twenty million Naira are correct and factual.
The state government through the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Christian Ita had earlier debunked the report calling it ‘tissue of lies’ and accusing CrossRiverWatch of ‘blackmail’ and ‘having scant regards for facts’.
But in a reaction, the Deputy Managing Director of CrossRiverWatch, Mr. Charlie Ofem warned that “name calling and angry rebuttals will not deter us from doing our work.”
He noted that “In his rejoinder, the CPS accepted that the state government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian firm, Educom to partner with it in driving the state’s e-learning program for schools in the state.
“According to the CPS, an MoU was signed by the state and the Indian firm to provide both digital and non-digital products and solutions for the state’s e-learning program. He further clarified that while Educom, as part of its responsibility to the state, has agreed in principle to assist with the teachers recruitment exercise, no contract has been awarded to them and as such no fee or payment has been made to the Indian firm.
“It is however curious that the CPS did not tell the public if the recruitment exercise which Educom has accepted to assist the state with is going to be done for free or how much exactly it will cost the state if it is not for free or when did Indians become Santa Clause that will come to Nigeria and particularly Cross River State and recruit teachers for free.
“We maintain that our investigation has established that honorarium and other allowances and logistics for the over fifty Indian expatriates that would conduct both the written and oral tests for candidates across the three senatorial districts of the state will cost the state over twenty million Naira which we consider a waste as there are many competent Cross Riverians who can efficiently do that assignment for the state at a far cheaper cost.
“We also challenge the CPS in the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act, to cause the release to the public, details of the MoU, the Itinerary and logistics preparations for the over fifty expatriates that will be coming to conduct the tests.
“Finally, we also consider it uncharitable for someone in the high office of a Chief Press Secretary to a governor to accuse a media organization of blackmail without giving facts particularly when that accusation is coming from the same CPS who just a few months ago, precisely on May 1, 2013 in our report: Cross Riverians Applaud CrossRiverWatch said:‘CrossRiverWatch in 8 months has done well. It has established itself as a veritable platform through which Cross River activities are illuminated. We are pleased with the work they are doing and can only wish them to grow from strength to strength.
“We consider such baseless accusations of blackmail as nothing more than hasty remarks by the CPS to impress his boss and save his job”.
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