By Ekemini Simon
The Head of Service, Mrs Ekereobong Akpan has expressed displeasure over the condition Civil servants experienced in the State in the year 2017 as regards the Civil service tradition of training and retraining.
Presenting the 2018 budget estimates to the House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation on Monday, the Head of Service noted that owing to the inability of the State Government to release needed funds to her office, Civil Servants were not trained in 2017 and the ritual public service week was not held.
She said that in the 2017 fiscal year, over N417 million was budgeted for the Cabinet Office but the office was able to draw only N50,500,000 which she said was not enough for training.
Akpan said her office is basically responsible for the training of Civil servants and the unavailability of funds for the training to take place has the potential to affect negatively quality service delivery among Civil Servants in the State.
The Head of service which offered insight to the fact that she is in charge of the Office of Head of Service, Department of Establishment and General Services all basically known as Cabinet office mentioned that in the year 2017, the State Government Spent over N377million naira on rent for government offices.
She also stated that against N12million naira expected to be generated from the Civil Service auditorium, N5.8million naira was realized.
Reacting, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Finance Chaired by Hon Usoro Akpanusoh expressed displeasure over the inability to generate above N12 million from the Civil Service auditorium. Akpanusoh said the funds generated was grossly below expectation thus should be improved upon in 2018.
He reminded the office that for the 2018 fiscal year, 40 percent of the funds that will be used to finance the budget is expected to come from internally generated revenue.
The House committee Chairman also demanded to have insight to all the properties the State government is paying rent so as to know if the money is appropriately channeled.
While commending the Executive arm of government for the prompt payment of Civil Servants salary, Akpanusoh noted that it was imperative for funds to be released for their training and retraining hence boost the quality of their service delivery.