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A’Ibom: Udom cuts salaries of political appointees over fall in oil price

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has slashed salaries of all political appointees in the state by 20 per cent, citing the fall in oil price as reason for the pay cut.

In a statement issued in Uyo on Tuesday by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, Governor Udom also mentioned poor economic condition arising from COVID-19 pandemic as another cause for reduction in the remuneration of political office holders in the state.

Udom Emmanuel

He observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the world economy to collapse including the crash in oil prices.

The statement reads in part: “In response to the prevailing economic realities of dwindling revenues, caused by the crash in the price of crude oil in the global market, His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has painfully directed, the slashing of salaries of all political office holders by 20%.”

Ekuwem explained that Governor Udom was in a dilemma of continuing to pay the current salary for a while and end up being totally unable to pay in future or slash the salary by 20 per cent for a certain period pending when oil price will improve.

“His Excellency, the Governor was confronted with an urgent need to take decision on either of two painful options: continue to pay the current salaries for a while and end up being totally unable to pay same subsequently or spread the discomfort (20% cut) sustainably over a period of time pending the return of crude oil price to normalcy in the global market.”

He reminded the affected appointees that it was out of necessity that the state constituted post COVID-19 economic reconstruction committee to recommend means to get out of the economic crisis caused by coronavirus pandemic in the state.

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“We must not forget that it was by the same ancient principle of “necessity is the mother of invention”, that led to the establishment of the Akwa Ibom State Post COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION COMMITTEE by His Excellency the Governor, to recommend navigable routes out of this global economic morass for our state,” the statement added.

Although the Secretary to the state Government did not say that the cut in salary of political appointees was recommended by post COVID-19 Economic Reconstruction Committee in the state, he assured that the state would resume full payment of salaries when the economy improves.

“Let us all know and appreciate the fact that these measures are temporary. Akwa Ibom State Government will transparently resume full payment of salaries when this dark cloud passes,” he said.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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