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May Day: Cross River Workers Lament Early Payment Of Salaries

Ben Ayade

Workers in Cross River State on Monday lamented over the early payment of their May salaries.

The state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, had on April 30 ordered that the May salaries of workers be paid.

It will not be the first time that Ayade, whose cardinal priority had been the prompt payment of salaries, will be paying workers ahead of the due date which falls within the 25th of every month.

The first was in May 2016 when Ayade ordered workers to be paid on workers day, while the second was on December 1, 2016.

The salaries for April had just been paid a few days ago, workers in the state got two months salaries in one week.

State chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. John Ushie, said the union had advised against payment of salaries one month ahead.

Ushie said, “We had advised the governor not to be paying salaries like this but he insisted. Maybe it is his own way of showing that he cares for the people. He feels he should make the life of the people better and he has expressed this by paying a month salary in arrears.

“We believe that salaries should be paid for work done but since he has gone ahead to pay, we can only advise workers to be prudent. He did the same thing last year, but we didn’t expect he would do the same thing again because he just finished paying salaries last week and then by April 30 he had paid May salaries. That is the situation on ground.

“So, it is for everyone to be prudent. When your salary is paid to you even before you earn it, it is for you to sit down and plan. You know we have a problem of spending, especially the workers. If the governor has decided to be paying salaries like this, let us readjust to see how we can save our own money.”

Also, the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Eyo-Nsa Itam, workers did not expect that their May salaries would be paid on May 1.

Itam said, “I think it is a tradition. We didn’t expect it on May 1. It means people would have to work for two months without getting salaries. It is a good development, but the impact would be very hectic.”

A teacher, Mr. Joseph Ogar, said, “When I got the alert on April 30, I was elated but confused. I initially thought it was a mistake. Salary coming early is both good and bad.

“Good because it will enable me sort out the house rent issue I have right now and bad because by the time one finishes spending it in no time, the following month would become very difficult. Personally I would prefer the normal payment of salaries before the end of every month.”

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