The Akwa Ibom State Government, under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel, has promoted over 20,000 workers in the state civil service within the past three years.
The state Head of Civil Service, Mrs Ekerebong Akpan, disclosed this during an interactive meeting with senior civil servants from level 13 to 17, adding that 30 Permanent Secretaries were appointed within the period.
She added that 5,000 secondary school teachers and 3,000 primary school teachers had also been employed into the school system.
According to Akpan, the state’s automatic payroll system has also eradicated bottlenecks hitherto experienced by workers during retirement.
She said the names of retired workers had been systematically transferred from the salary payroll to an automatic pension payroll, thus eliminating cases of pension arrears.
Akpan noted that the backlog of gratuities had been paid to those who retired in November 2015 and that the verification and compilation of the 2016 and 2017 batches had been processed for payment.
She, however, advised civil servants not to be partisan in the Team Akwa Ibom Project.
She also announced a voluntary scheme as a new welfare package for public service to start from entry points for civil servants and terminate at their retirement.
Meanwhile, the state government has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress to use federal might to weaken the state apparatus.
According to a statement, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, stated this on Thursday while speaking with journalists at the state police headquarters, where the state Commissioner for Environment, Dr Iniobong Essien, was being questioned before onward transfer to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, over the siting of a billboard.
Explaining what led to Essien’s arrest, Udoh said, “We all woke up one day and found out that the Commissioner for Environment had been invited for a discussion with the police on an order from Abuja over dispute on the location of a billboard.
“The billboard was located in a densely populated area. An approval before siting the billboard was not followed to the letter because it was not located where it should have been located.”