Cross River sweepers lament non-payment of 15 months salaries

Kidnappers seem to have set their sights on Calabar metropolis, as gunmen are reported to have abducted for ransom six people in ten days.

Street sweepers in Cross River State, most of whom are widows and elderly women, have not been paid for 15 months.

The women, who are supposed to earn N5,000 monthly, work in Obudu, Ikom, Yakurr and Ogoja Urban Development Agencies.

The sweepers, who are on the payroll of Calabar Urban Development Agency, work from Monday to Saturday.

Some of the women told newsmen that they have made appeals severally to the authorities without any response.

As an alternative, these widows have resorted to crying and begging on the streets of Ogoja and Obudu, the hometown of Governor Ben Ayade.

One of the women, Madam Irene Agbor, 42 years old, lamented that she is unable to pay her children’s school fees as well as fulfil other obligations.

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She said the salary ought to be N5000 but their office takes N500 from them and another N500 is used for “compulsory contribution”, leaving them with N4000.

“We are owed 15 months as at today. The office keeps telling us there is no money yet; that we should be patient.”

When newsmen visited the office of the Accountant-General of the state, an official, who did not want to be quoted, said the office was processing their payments.

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