Sanitation Workers’ Protest At Gov. Ayade’s Office Over Unpaid Salaries
By Our Reporter
Aggrieved sanitation workers in Cross River State on Monday in Calabar staged a peaceful protest in front of Governor Ben Ayade’s office over the non-payment of their salaries for the past 24months.
According to spokesman of the affected workers, who are casual staff of the state Waste Management Agency, Mr. Joseph Fernandos, the state government owned agency stopped paying them since 2014.
He described insinuations making the rounds that the government had to stop the workers’ salaries because of their inability to generate funds, as misleading.
On the contrary, he said the agency had been generating enough revenue into the government’s coffers since the enumeration exercise for waste management in the state.
Fernandos, who disclosed that the agency had been doing its bid to ensure the generation of revenue, traced the current problem to the state’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which had been operating a secret account, unknown to the government.
He alleged that the Revenue Service had not been remitting monies paid into one of its several accounts by agents of the Waste Management Agency.
“We have been generating revenue after the enumeration. People have been paying their bills, even hotels like Mirage. What happened is that IRS played a fast one on the agency.
“The money generated was not paid directly into the Waste Agency account, but that of IRS. IRS has 3 accounts.
“We appeal to the government to intervene and pay us our salaries”, he said.
Reacting on the development, the state commissioner for environment, Engr. Mike Eraye, said the government was aware of the workers complain, but urged them to be patient as concerted efforts were being made to clear their salaries.