Organised Labour in Cross River state has picketed the office of the Head of Service over her insistence that Directors must pay 25,000 naira examination fee before they are promoted to permanent Secretaries .
Members of the various Unions comprising NLC,TUC and Joint Public Service Negotiating Council,NJC carried playcards with inscriptions like ” The HoS must go” ” HoS must refund 25,000 naira collected from Directors illegally ” ” HoS don’t run down Cross River Civil Servants ” amongst others .
It was gathered that the Directors numbering about 275 were mandated to pay the fees or they would not be promoted and about 150 of them have already paid the 25,000 naira .
Addressing newsmen during the picketing exercise ,Raymond Akan he Chairman,Nigeria Civil Service Union said they have written series of letters to the Head of Service but she was bent on carrying out her directives.
According to him , about 150 have already paid the money and at the moment there are only 10 openings for permanent Secretaries as at today ( Monday ) .
” We are not happy with the mandatory 25,000 naira that the HoS is insisting that Directors must pay to write exams ,we are not against any form of examination ,but what we are against is the fees .
” As a matter of fact ,two Directors have already been made permanent Secretaries without writing any exam,and since this administration came on board ,nobody has paid any fees to write exams ,why is her case different.
Also Speaking, Trade Union Congress Chairman in the state ,Com.Monday Ogbodum said the situation was an unfortunate one adding that even many of the Directors who were promoted as far back as 2016 was merely on paper as the promotion have not been implemented till date .
His words :” We are not in anyway against the examination ,it is a welcome development ,but we are worried about a lot of things , do you know that many of these Directors who were deputy’s and promoted to Directors in 2016 have not received a dime as Director’s .
“Now you are asking thesame people to pay 25,000 naira for exam,when you know that only 12 positions are available and two were filled last week on the directive of the Governor through the office of the Chairman of Civil Service Commission and now there are just 10 vacancies .
“We are against this sort of injustice ,we are against the discrepancies ,we are against the selective justice and we want everything to go back to status quo ,and the way it’s done ,”he said.
On his part , Godwin Otei ,State Chairman Joint Public Service Negotiating Council ,JNC ,while addressing members at the at gate of the HoS said the discrepancy and injustice was uncalled for and mist be stopped while calling on the HoS to refund all the money she had collected .
According to him ,the governor of the state ,Prof Ben Ayade has approved 2 million naira already for the examination exercise.
Otei wondered why she would turn around and ask Directors to pay 25,000 naira again adding that if the HoS needed more money to conduct the exam she should have written to the governor and not mandate Directors to pay 25,000 naira each fir the exercise .
He called on the governor Ben Ayade to intervene stressing that they would picket the office of the HoS e everyday no matter how long it takes.
” We are appealing to the governor,Prof Ben Ayade to intervene in this matter ,this is selective justice and cannot be accepted ,because an injury to one is an injury to all ,the two persons appointed did not write any exam .
” We don’t mind picketing her office for the rest of the year and if she fails to refund the money while in office ,they would ensure that the money would be deducted from her salaries even after she is retired ,” he said.