Cross River State workers have protested Governor Ben Ayade’s payment of early salaries to them. They lamented that they finish the money as soon as it enters their accounts. The workers got their May salary on April 30, on the eve of May Day, few days after April salary was paid, even while others in some states are being owed many months’ salaries.
Speaking on May Day celebration on Monday, State Chairmanof the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), John Ushie, said: “We have advised the governor not to be paying salaries like this but he insisted.“May be it is his own way of showing that he cares for the people. He feels he should make the life of the people better and he has expressed this by paying a month salary in advance.
“We believe that salaries should be paid for work done but since he has gone ahead to pay, we can only advise workers to be prudent.“He did the same thing last year, but we did not expect he will do the same thing again because he just finished paying April salaries. That is the situation on ground.”
Nigeria Union of Teachers Chairman, Eyo-Nsa Itam, said: “I think it is a tradition. We did not expect it yesterday. We expected it today. But you know because of the economic strain, there may be suffering, if people are not careful.“It means people would work for two months without receiving salaries, because the governor just paid salaries last week. Within one week, he has paid two months salaries. So, it is a good development, but the impact would be hectic.
“To me, the salary should have been paid religiously as it had been paid on or before 25th of every month so that people can plan. The more money you see, the more your expenditure would be. “Assuming you are earning N100,000 and you are paid for twomonths, which is N200,000 within one week, you find out that you will finish spending that money and the next month, you will be living on debt.“This issue of paying two salaries, within one week is what we are talking about because it would definitely affect people.”