… State Accountant General says he is not aware.
By Ita Williams
Following the unpaid gratuity to the Cross River State retirees especially those who served between 2014, 2015, 2016, to date, Joseph Adie, the State Accountant general over the weekend disclosed that the insinuations in some quarters that the retirees would be demanded to pay a kickback amount ranging to N200, 000 before their entitlements is being paid is not known by him.
On the alleged demand by some of his staff who placed N200,000 before processing their papers for their gratuities to be paid, he said “well, I want to assure that my office here , nobody have told me that there is demand to pensioners that they should pay anything not even a dime before they get paid”
Adie a chartered Accountant by profession in an exclusive interview in his office told www.csomedia.com.ng that the highest allocation that comes to the State is N3billion, sometimes, N1.1billion, and N1billion respectively and that he was not aware of anybody in his office demanding any pensioners to pay any money for the purpose of approving their payment.
“I am sure you will be surprise that even those States that have the highest allocation, you see that they are owing pensions, they are not making effort to pay, but we have tried, we are paying , in fact at a point , we have been setting aside N200m every month”
“It is a very gravious matter to ask a retirees and pensioners to begin to pay monies for their gratuities or whatever, is act of wickedness. In a situation like this, I must confess to you that I am not aware of that type of demand from anywhere, and I will be the last person to be a partaker”
“As we speak, we have cleared 2013, and we have paid 2014 and we have paid up to February”
On why some persons from 2016 and 2017 have gotten their gratuities paid, he said yes that comes in with the express permission from the governor, you know some people have health issues, others have spinal cord, yes in cases like this, I get my authorities from the governor, they are two on the line now, if he approve and there are no funds, I pray, that are considered special cases he stated.
Some group of retired permanent Secretaries and some civil servants in the State who spoke on the condition of anonymity for the fear of sanction had alleged that some staff from Accountant general office demands gratification of N200,000 before they get their gratuities paid.
It has been noted also that according a reliable source retirees in the state have completed the arrangement to drag the Accountant general and the State government to National Industrial Court Calabar for refusing to pay them their entitlement. The source said.