HoS refunds N25,000 exam fee to 75 directors in Cross River
At least 75 directors in the Cross River state civil service have each received the N25,000 they paid to Head of Service, Geraldine Ekanem, as fee for promotion exam to permanent secretary cadre.
The fee which pitched organised labour in the state against the HoS led to the picketing of her office on Monday in Calabar.
The Chairman of Trade Union Congress, one of the unions that participated in the picketing, Monday Ogbodum said at least 75 Directors had collected their N25,000 which was the condition given by organised labour to end the picketing.
“The refund of the N25,000 was the main reason we picketed the State Secretariat which houses her office( Hos), and we are glad that reason and good conscience has prevailed.
“As I speak with you, I have counted about 75 Directors who have collected their money by hand. So the picketing is over. We have achieved what we came out for,” he said.
The Chairman of the Joint Public Negotiating Council, Godwin Otei also said, “We can now go home. I have counted about 75 Directors who have been refunded their N25,000. We are happy that she has listened to us.”
Labour unions in Cross River State on Monday had protested at the State Secretariat against alleged illegal collection of N25, 000 as fee from Directors to write Permanent Secretary Examination.
Members of the labour unions made up of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and other unions stormed the office of the Head of Service (HOS), with placards bearing inscriptions such a, ‘HOS- stop exploiting Directors’,’Labour say no to N25,000 before exams for Directors!’, ‘HOS must go!’, among others.
They chanted solidarity songs and demanded that the N25,000 be refunded to directors that had already paid to write the promotion exam.
It was gathered that out of the 275 Directors in the state civil service; at least 150 had already paid the N25,000 fees, while the 2016 promotion of some of the directors had not been implemented.