By Jonathan Ugbal
An industrial action looms in Cross River State over the delayed disbursement of the NGN11billion Paris club refund paid to the state by the federal government.
The Guardian Newspapers reports that workers may soon down their tools when the 7 – day ultimatum issued after a 14 – day ultimatum elapses on May 29, 2017 due to the delay in disbursement of the refund meant for gratuities and other emoluments.
Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, Comrade Clarkson Otu said the union was been careful in giving government enough time to explain the situation despite receiving the money since December 2016 and regretted that nothing has been heard from Government after 17 days of notice.
“After seven days, you know what will happen, strike action,” Otu sad and lamented that the joint committee of labor officials and government had since submitted its report “Yet no payment.”
He called on the federal government not to release the second tranche until the proper things were done by the Cross River State government.
But, the Government dismissed labor claims.
“The money has been here and we are now processing the payment to ensure that only those who deserve to get paid are paid,” said Asuquo Ekpenyong jnr, the finance commissioner who also denied the money has been lodged in commercial banks to yield interests.
“Don’t allow people to give you wrong information, I am the person that can speak authoritatively and it has been used to settle what was recommended from the Federal Government… we are one of the very few states that have stuck to settlement of workers’ outstanding emoluments,” Ekpenyong said but did not comment on the time when payments of gratuities will commence though sources claimed it may be paid before the end of May.
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