By;Benedict Okache,CRS-MOI Officer reporting from Min. of Information

Cross River State Government would require over #2.8 billion Naira monthly to fully implement the #30,000 new minimum wage agreement recently signed between the State Government and the Organized Labour in the State.

The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation,Comrade Asu Okang disclosed this in a remark during the February edition of the Monthly Ministerial Press Briefing organized by the Ministry of Information& Orientation at the Newsroom of the Ministry's headquarters, Complex,Calabar.

Comrade Okang stated that the State Government currently has a total staff strenght of over 19,000 from the core MDAs with a monthly wage bill of over  #1.8 billion,noting that the staff of Cross River University,College of Education,Akamkpa,Institute of Technology and Management Ugep, College of Health Technology,Calabar amongst other State owned tertiary institutions that recieves monthly subventions also require another over #260 Million to cover for their staff monthly salaries

This situation,according to the Commissioner usually increases the wage bill of the State to over #2.1 billion monthly,pointing out that with the State Government recieving an average of about #3 billion monthly from the Federation Account and a standing statutory deduction of over #1.8 billion,the State government is usually left with no funds to pursue project implementation after payment of Salaries.

The Information and Orientation Boss explained further that with the recent signing of the #30,000 new minimum wage for levels 1-6 and consequential adjustments for levels 7-17 and implementation date set for March 1,2020,the State Government would now need over #2.2billion monthly for the 19,000 core MDAs workers  and another #600million for staff of Institutions that recieve monthly subventions to meet up the payment arrangements.

"This means Governor Ayade would now need over #2.8billion monthly to pay the new wage to all category of State workers while total monthly take home for all political appointees are still being worked out since the Governor is still making more appointments",Comrade Okang averred.

The Commissioner said this is where the Governor's concept of intellectual money has been playing a big role in the many infrastructural initiatives which Governor Ayade is currently championing for the people of Cross River State and sued for support and cooperation of revenue generating MDAs in order to shore up the revenue base of government.

Comrade Okang reminded the Media to be positive in the reportage of the activities of the present administration,emphasizing that the Monthly Press Briefing is the Ministry's initiative to institutionalize the new information order in the State as well as provide a platform for interface between the government and the governed in order to get a buy in from the citizenry.

The February 2020 edition  of the Monthly Ministerial Press Briefing featured the State Commissioner for Lands-Prof John Inyang;State Commissioner for Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) Mr. Oliver Orok;the Special Adviser Brand Marketing and Networking,Mrs Emily Esama Maduike and was well attended by the Media,Leadership of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations(NIPR)Social Media Influencers,Leadership of ethnic Nationalitkes including the President-General of Igbo Community in  Cross River State,Vice President of Yoruba Community,a three delegation from the Hausa Community in the Stare;Civil Society Organizations(CSOs)Market Women Leadership and Youth Organizations,amongst others.

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