|Cross River State House of Assembly Speaker, Honourable John Gaul Lebo|
The Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly has expressed sympathy toward councillors in the State over their unpaid allowances.
Lebo disclosed that it was not only the councillors that weree affected as members of the State House of Assembly are also being owed allowances but are unable to complain because they are aware of the federal allocation that the State receives which is not enough to pay civil servants salaries.
The Speaker added that Nigeria’s economy is in crises and all the States are also affected by the recession and that although the Councillors have few months to leave office, Government will endeavour to pay them what they are being owed even if it required paying in bits to clear off the debts.
On their car loan deductions, the Speaker said the Accountant General of the State will look into into the issue to determine how much is deducted, stop the deductions when completed and return excess deductions where there exist. Lebo promised to meet with the Governor based on the issues raised.
Earlier, the State Coordinator National PDP councillors’ forum Cross River State Chapter, Hon. kanu Enun O. Commended the Speaker for the cordial relationship between the Executive and the Legislative arm of Government in the State and prayed that it should be maintained.
Enun said the visit was to intimate the Speaker about the allowance being owed them and added that councillors are grassrooters, mobilizers and need to be properly equipped to carry out their legislative functions which is geared towards enhancing good legislation and mobilization of constituents.
He added that the councillors have come to cry to him about their teething challenges, which include high indebtedness due to election expenditure, non-payment of furniture allowance, non-payment of legislature allowance (legislative votes) for legislative business and over-sight functions and said for 19 months legislative allowance have not been paid.
In a vote of thanks, Hon. Pastor Inok Otu Ita, appreciated the Speaker for promptly responding to their call and said members who were contemplating defecting to another parties will change their minds and pleaded for the speaker to facilitate their request.