By Our Correspondent
The Head of Service of Cross River State, Barrister Ekpenyong Henshaw, has charged workers in the state civil service to reciprocate Governor Ben Ayade’s gesture of prompt payment of salaries through increased productivity and strict compliance with the civil service code.
Henshaw who made the charge during a chat with newsmen described Ayade as “the best thing to have happened to the state’s civil sector, especially with the lifting of the 23-year-old freeze on recruitment.”
According to him, “If you knew the level of unemployment before he took over as governor, you would agree that this was the best news for the unemployed youths in the state. It shows that the government wants to get everybody involved in driving the machinery of government.
It would be recalled that since assuming the reins of governance in May last year, Governor Ayade has kept faith with his promise of prompt and regular payment of salaries by ensuring that workers receive their salaries between 20th and 25th of every month.
Lauding the governor for what he described as human face in governance, the state’s top civil servant said: “Cross River civil servants could not ask for more from Governor Ayade as he has ensured that workers’ salaries are paid not only regularly but promptly too. He has also brought humanity into governance by granting low income earners tax exemptions.”
While urging workers to rededicate themselves to the values of honesty and hard work, Henshaw said: “A lot is now expected of every civil servant in the state to reciprocate the governor’s kindness by contributing their quota to stabilize the system and ensure the efficient implementation of policies and programs.”
According to Henshaw, “the state is planning an effective monitoring and appraisal framework to ensure that workers contribute their quota. Despite the economic situation in the country. The governor has kept faith with the promise he made on assumption of office by honouring his obligation to the workers. For instance, in December last year, he ordered that salaries be paid on the 15th, while January salary was paid on the 16th. What more can we ask for? So the burden of expectation is on us deliver.”
Continuing, he said: “Today the morale is high and workers are happy because they have not had it so good. The excitement among the workers are palpable, you can see it and you can touch it.
Elsewhere, anxiety wafts high among the workforce, but same cannot be said about Cross River workers. Nobody’s job is threatened.”
“In our monitoring exercise, what we emphasize is that if the government is doing all these under this challenging economy, it is incumbent on the workers to go to work early, be present at their work place till the close of work.
“The reform we want to start in the service now is basically performance management. We are not going to wait till the end of the year to appraise workers, there will be standards which would be applied at the end of the day. An environment has been created for workers to appraise themselves on a daily basis and on a monthly basis. At the end, they will see how productive they have been.
“The governor has done well for the workers. I can now go and question any worker on why they are not doing their work, why they are absent from work. I have the moral ground to do that now because a lot has changed. The system is growing.
“I am organizing the manpower need of the state and very soon, I will submit it to the governor. The lifting of embargo on unemployment was very timely and it has given people hope that they will be employed.”
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