Ex-EFCC Prosecutor Nkereuwem Abraham faults Non Payment of Gratuities in Cross River

A former prosecutor for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Nkereuwem Abraham has called out the Cross River state government on its visible failure and/or neglect to off set gratuities of retired civil servants in the state.

Abraham noted that gratuity remains an inalienable right of a worker who has served under government effectively, and is now out of service.

He said that sadly, reverse situation is the case with nowadays as some retirees, languish in pain and hardship after bowing out of service, as their entitlement remains a mirage for a long time.

According to him, the antecedents of the Cross River State government, in recent past, has not helped the situation at all as there is the prevalence of backlog of gratuity payment for retired workers.

He, consequently, called on the Cross River State Governor, His Excellency Gov.Bassey Otu, to “step into the stage” and deal decisively with issues around backlog of gratuities for retired government workers in the state

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Abraham said:

“The concept of gratuity started a very long time ago and it is simply an accumulated amount of money that a worker is entitled to be paid after leaving his job. it is meant majorly for long serving employees.

“Unfortunately in Nigeria, payment of gratuity is akin to raising the dead.

“A worker is supposed to take solace that when he retires or leaves his job he will be paid his gratuity. Lack of payment of gratuity is one of the reasons of high corruption pursuit in the civil service.

“Cross River State is one of the worst States in Nigeria as far as payment of gratuity to retirees is concern. This is the least thing governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State is supposed to do to win the heart of the people of the state, Cross River State being a civil service state,”

Besides, Abraham noted that similar episodes of non compliance with payment of gratuities had played out during the past tenure of Governor Ben Ayade who also failed to satisfy the entitlement of these retirees .

He said;

“”Throughout the 8 year tenure of governor Benedict Ayade who faked tears on social media lamenting lack of adequate facility to help the people of the state while at the same time reportedly hiding COVID-19 palliatives that was meant for the poor masses of the State, he never paid gratuity for even a year.

‘Sometime in September, 2023, the governor of Cross River State Bassey Otu moved to consolidate plans to clear 24 billion Naira gratuity arears owed workers in the state, till date governor Otu has not finish consolidating the plans, it is a great shame to him and his government if you ask me.

“That governor Otu can go to bed and sleep well in this circumstance is an embarrassment to governance in Cross River State.The priority in governance has been eroded.

“People find themselves in the seat of power without any foresight, motivation or willingness to do the right thing. Governor Bassey Otu should take a sabbatical leave to Abia State and learn from a man whose dream was to build the state and not just to bear the name governor. Just like Ogun State is one of the states in Nigeria with the worst state of roads,” he said

Abraham further queried:

“What is governance when gratuities of old men and women who served a state are not paid till a good number of them die without getting their entitlement?

“What injustice, disservice and fraud could be more than this? It is on this note I call on governor Bassey Otu to be a man in governance and pay gratuities to retirees”?.

He, consequently, urged government to give hope to ex-workers in Cross River State and stop failing from the beginning.

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