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Governor Bassey Otu has called on the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, in Cross River State to support the government’s effort towards sanitizing the state civil service, which has been blighted by several anomalies that have left the present administration with a bloated wage bill.

Governor Otu made the call when he addressed protesting labour leaders, Tuesday, February 27, 2024 in Calabar as part a nationwide protest by the NLC.

The Governor, represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, commended the protesting workers for their peaceful and coordinated manner of presenting their concerns before government, declaring support for labour over dwindling standard of living in Nigeria.

“There is hunger in the land. Of course, we know. We promised to run a ‘People First’ government. If the people are hungry, there is no way this will happen.

“His Excellency, Governor Bassey Otu is not here today. He is in Abuja for the Labour Committee meeting, pushing for government to consider improving worker’s welfare in the country.

“We know that the present minimum wage of workers is not enough to measure us with the level of inflation in the country. Prices of goods are high. Salaries ought to go up, too. That is why as government, we have made sure that the N10,000 palliative is paid to every civil servant.

“We also made sure that the N5,000 Christmas bonus was paid to all civil servants in the State. We have gone ahead to pay WAEC fees for Cross River students preparing for examinations.

“We have done that as a government and will continue to do more. The government of Prince Bassey Otu will take care of the plight of workers,” he assured.

On the issue of retired workers still occupying government offices, the deputy governor charged labour to assist Otu-led administration to weed out such elements to create room for growth of other workers and the employment of new ones.

Conveying Labour’s concerns, Cross River State NLC Chairman, Comrade Gregory Olayi, said the are protesting over the stark economic realities.

He said workers salaries have become grossly inadequate to cater to their households.

The labour leader lauded Governor Otu for the palliative intervention to civil servants in the state, urging the government to do more.