Computer Acquisition Program : Cross River Civil Servants Cry Fowl Over Compulsory Salary Deduction

In Breaking News, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke (2nd left) presenting the now controversial lap top computer to Mr. Francis Adie (2nd right), while the State NLC Chairman watches, during the May Day 2014 celebration in Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke (2nd left) presenting the now controversial lap top computer to Mr. Francis Adie (2nd right), while the State NLC Chairman watches, during the May Day 2014 celebration in Calabar

There has been disquiet among civil servants in Cross River State over what our sources described as illegal deduction of staff salaries between level seven and fourteen to pay the compulsory acquisition of HP computer Laptops.

Both junior and senior staff who spoke with CrossRiverWatch described the deductions as ‘painful’ at a time when the salaries of workers are not paid as at when due.

“They may have good intention by what they called introduction of e-Civil Service, but the method and approach they are using is faulty because they didn’t give us adequate information about it.”, a source in the Ministry of Local Government told CrossRiverWatch.

Another junior staff in the office of the Head of Service who preferred anonymity said “They didn’t tell us before we just saw that our salary was deducted and when we inquired, they told us that we are paying for computers that we have not seen and not know how to use.

“The most disturbing are the drivers and messengers whose money is being deducted too. What do they need to do with computer laptops valued between N100,000 and N120,000 when their take home salaries are below N20,000”?

Another source said “some of us acquired the Omatek Laptops in 2008/2009 and is still functioning but they are forcing us to buy HP and our salary is being deducted even without asking us whether we need it or not”.

It would be recalled that Governor Liyel Imoke had said during the 2014 May day celebration that he wants Cross River State civil service to be one of the first in Nigeria to start e-operations.

Imoke also promised the workers while flagging off the distribution of the laptops that government will subsidize the cost of the HP computers for them.

But in a circular from the Head of Service, all affected staff were directed to go for the collection of their computers with the completed application forms.

A copy of the circular to MDAs which was obtained by CrossRiverWatch said: “In line with government commitment in upgrading the Cross River State Civil Servants to be ranked among the best in the world, the Governor of the State, Senator Liyel Imoke has re-introduced a computer acquisition program for its civil servants.

“Tagged Civil Servants Computer Acquisition Program” (CSCAP), the Head of Service has directed that a list of would-be beneficiaries be forwarded to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS).” the statement said in part.

The circular with reference number GO/HOS/591/VOL III/69 signed by the Permanent Secretary (PS) Mr. Inaku, Emeka on behalf of the Head of Service further requested the Commissioners, Special Advisers, Permanent Secretaries and Directors to instruct all concerned to go to the office of the Head of Service for collection of laptops.

The circular advised beneficiaries to carry with them completed application forms earlier sent to their MDAS, smart government enrolment forms, staff identity card and letter of first appointment on specific dates as scheduled for each MDA to enable staff access the laptops for optimal use.

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