By: EDEM DARLINGTON, Calabar
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has directed the Accountant- General of the state, Mr. Joseph Adie, to henceforth pay pensioners by hand, AUTHENTIC News Daily has reliably gathered.
The governor gave the directive even as the state is yet to pay April 2018 pension.
The unfavourable directives is already causing uneasiness among the pensioners and within the government circle.
According to a highly placed source within the office of the accountant general who confided with AUTHENTIC News Daily, “the decision of the governor was ill advised, archaic and anti-people, capable of causing serious confusion”
If the the directive is anything to go by, pensioners in the state will have to travel several hours, some as long as 8 hours to Calabar, the state capital to get paid manually.
The state’s sub-treasury along Mary Slessor avenue, which usually serve as the payment center a terribly volatile area, notorious to harbour street miscreants popularly called ‘Skolombo boys’.
” if such directive is carried out, we will have a situation where these pensioners may not return back home with their monies, because of the terrible security situation around here” a source said.
Calabar has been notorious for several criminal activities especially those popularly called ‘one chance’. The criminals operates as taxi drivers and are believed to use charms to know which of their victim is with money. The criminals will, soon after a victim has entered their vehicle, disposes them of cash and other valuables.
One source said the governor’s new directive came because he (the governor) seem not to trust anyone.
According to the highly placed source, when the Accountant General approached the governor to change his mind on the issue, the he was adamant. “the governor seem not to trust anyone, how do you expect pensioners, some of whom are even very far from the state to come here, queue for days before getting their money this is crazy” our source said
Another official who spoke with us on condition of anonymity lamented “before Donald Duke came and rescue us from this bondage of desk payment, we use to have shortages which is usually deducted from our monies. How can the governor want to take us many years behind with such archaic system of payment? He lamented
Apart from the cumbersome and tedious payment processes which could take weeks to complete, the State is such that, it is not possible for you to move from Obudu to Calabar and return the same day, meaning some pensioners will have to spend nights before being able to receive their money.
All attempts made to speak with the commissioner for information, Rosemary Archibong proved abortive as her phone number indicated that it was not available and a text message sent to her phone was not replied.