…Says Nigeria must embrace agriculture, industrialization
The Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, on Saturday expressed sadness over the inability of some categories of workers under the Unified Local Government system in the state to receive their salary arrears till date.
Some primary school teachers in the state were yet to receive their salaries for the past two and four months, respectively.
A public primary school teacher in the state, who craved anonymity, alleged that there have been selective payment of salaries among the schools shortly after the governor’s directive for payment.
According to the female teacher ” Since the governor gave directives for the payment of our salaries, only few teachers in some schools have collected. They collected only two months salary, while in our own school no one has received alert.”
But, addressing the masses at the UJ Esuene stadium in Calabar, during Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary celebration, the governor acknowledged that some workers in the state were yet to receive only two months’ salary.
Represented by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, governor Ayade promised to address the issue shortly.
He said efforts were not only ongoing to correct the situation, but to also sustain the prompt payment of civil/public servants, across board in the state.
“Efforts shall be sustained to guarantee prompt payment of salaries to civil and public servants before the end of every month. I note with pain that some of the staff of the Unified Local Government system in the state are owed arrears of salaries, ranging from one to two months.
“Let me state categorically, that this problem is being addressed with a view to ensuring that civil/public servants at all levels in the state are promptly paid as and when due. This, we shall continue to do despite the dwindling resources from the central purse”, he said.
Earlier, in his address, the governor said the current recession in Nigeria was an eye opener for the country to diversify its economic base, saying Nigeria can no longer continue to rely solely on oil revenue.
He said Nigeria must fully embrace agricultural development and industrialization in order to wither the storm and ensure a vibrant economy.
The governor noted that Nigeria’s 56th independence was another ample opportunity for the country to reflect on its past with a view to ponder on the veritable change before her.
“This is another opportunity for us to celebrate our nation’s independence from our colonial masters. It is therefore, with delight and honour that I address you in this historic 56th anniversary celebration which represents a great milestone in our nationhood.
“As a federating unit, this anniversary marks another watershed in our march towards nationhood, as it provides us another ample opportunity to reflect on our past and ponder on the veritable change before us, today.
“Our country has been thrown into an unfortunate economic recession owing to our over dependence and earnings from oil and abandonment of agriculture, which had been our economic mainstay; pre and post-independence. This unwarranted situation has led to a high cost of living, even as prices of goods and other commodities have skyrocketed.
“I am glad to note that this situation has reawakened the consciousness of all Nigerians to the need to diversify our national economy by returning back to agriculture”, the governor added.
Highlight of the occasion was a colorful match past by the Nigerian police band and few private and public school students in the state.