By Godwin Otang
Some Staff of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatrist Hospital, Calabar are confused about the management’s decision directing them to return money paid into their bank accounts, a situation management termed “payment in error.”
CrossRiverWatch gathered that some of the junior workers who were recently converted (moving a staff from one category to another, usually those on probation especially in the civil service) effective from July 21, 2023, were payrolled in arrears from January to July 2023 alongside those who were promoted with effect from January 1, 2023.
However, the management of the hospital, shortly after the Staff were paid, assembled the converted staff, briefed them, and asked them to return the money saying that “they were paid in error”. Some of the staff have expressed worries over management’s decision arguing that they are entitled to arrears upon conversion.
However, in an interview with CrossRiverWatch in Calabar, the Director of Admin at the hospital, Elder Mrs. Ekanem Davis, frowned at the reaction of some of the staff who according to her are “being mischievous” for acting reluctant against management decisions.
She explained that the payroller upon assumption of a new desk payrolled converted staff alongside promoted staff in arrears with effect from January 1, 2023, and in error. She said 42 staff who were converted aren’t entitled to any payment in arrears, except those who were promoted. She said only those on promotion are entitled to payments in arrears with effect from January 1, 2023, while converted staff are paid with effect from the date of their conversion, which in this case is July 21, 2023.
“The payroller made a mistake. Letters were sent before the decisions were taken in July 2023. He is a new person in that seat. In this job, nobody pays you arrears for conversion, you are paid from the effective date, and that is how it is.
“So when he queued the names, he rolled all of them with effect from the 1st of January 2023, which is wrong. So the Head of Account saw from the printout that he had paid them in error. Those on conversion were supposed to be paid with effect from July 21, 2023, not January, while only those on promotion were supposed to be paid with effect from January 1st, 2023.”
She continued: “So we called those on conversion even before the money dropped that they should return the money paid to them in error, they agreed but after they saw the money, 7 out of the 42 of them are reluctant to return the money.
The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Cross River State branch, Comrade Gregory Olayi, when contacted said workers aren’t entitled to arrears upon conversion but are paid from the effective date, as the role only applies to promotion.