The Akwa Ibom state government has commenced payment of salaries to newly recruited staff after the conclusion of several screening exercises as part of efforts to ensure that those employed were qualified for such positions.
The newly employed workers were given appointments in 2014 by the immediate past administration of former governor Godswill Akpabio but they had not been paid.
According to checks, those who have been paid include civil servants, nurses while teachers who were recruited last year and given appointment letters are yet to be paid.
The checks also show that those who have received their salary were paid only for January and February while arrears of more than 13 months were not included.
The state branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had threatened to go on strike over the nonpayment of the salary to newly employed staff being one of the contentious issues.
Confirming the payment of the salary, one of the beneficiaries who gave her name as Grace Essien said she received the salary last week adding that it was for January and February wondering what would happen to the backlog of arrears since she was employed in 2014.
“Yes, I have been paid but what I received showed that I was paid for January and February only, I do not know what will happen to the arrears,’’ she said.
Speaking in an interview, Unyime Usoro, adviser to the state governor on labour matters said those who have been paid were those cleared after the screening exercise adding that those who have been paid validly appointed would be paid.
“It depends on what is stated in their appointment letters, anybody who has been genuinely appointed and cleared after the screening will be paid, ‘’ he said.
Last month, the state government got an allocation of N8.2 billion from the Federal Account Allocation Committee, being among the highest recipients in the country.