Uyo - Some civil servants in Akwa Ibom on Monday lamented non-payment of their salaries for two months even as fuel scarcity bites harder in the state.
A litre of petrol now sells for N170 in Uyo.
The workers said that the delay in the payment of their salaries was due to the adoption of new accounting standard by the state government.
The state government used International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) to prepare the 2014 budget.
A civil servant in the Ministry of Health, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the situation had compelled him to withdraw two of his daughters from a private school to public schools.
According to him, non-payment of his two months salaries has made it impossible for him to raise the school fees.
He also said that the situation was worsened by the current increase in the price of fuel.
The civil servant said that the effect was the 100 per cent increase in transport fares, stressing that “I now struggle to go to work daily.”
He also said that transporters charged N100 per drop for a short distance against N50.
Akamba Awa, the Secretary, Trade Union Congress, Akwa Ibom Chapter, said the union was worried about the effect of the implementation of the new accounting standard.
Awa said that government adopted the new accounting standard without giving accounting officers enough time to study the process.
The secretary also said that the union had held a meeting with the state’s accountant general where the union expressed its displeasure.
He said that government had agreed that the IPSAS implementation of IPSAS would commence in March to allow payrolls officers of different ministries, departments and agencies to study it.
“But we equally queried the hurry with which the government adopted the new accounting standard without giving accounting officers enough time to study the new system and make amends.
“They went ahead to introduce it in January knowing full well that January is a month that people may have spent too much money during the festive periods.
“It is the month that people pay their children school fees, house rents and so on,” he said.
Awa said that some ministries had started paying February salaries and that payment would go round all the ministries soon.
John Offiong, the Information Officer in the Head of Civil Service Office, described the salary delay as part of the teething problems normally encountered in progressive changes.
He said government had started organising workshops for the accounting officers to get them familiar with the system.
Offiong also said that data processing staff had been deployed to various ministries to assist accounts officers on the new payment method.
Offiong confirmed that some ministries had commenced the payment of workers’ salaries.
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