The Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has said he deserves commendation for the payment of salaries and pensions of civil servants and pensioners in the state.
Ayade also claimed that he had paid 36 months of salaries and arrears inherited from the previous administration.
Speaking during an appearance on Arise TV on Wednesday, the governor said payment of salaries and pensions is an achievement for his government and far more critical than any other project.
The governor stated that he is a superhero for his achievements in the last eight years, adding that the people of Cross Rivers celebrate him for his works.
Ayade said despite Cross River receiving the least in terms of federal allocation, his government ranks number one in the commitment and payment of salaries and pensions to workers.
He said: “Salaries and pensions payment is a fantastic achievement in today’s circumstances. I will tell you why it is so: To build a road, you need the citizens to have independent ease and integrity to be able to use that road.
“But what is the point of a skyscraper when your citizens are poor? I am a son of a civil servant so I know the circumstance in which I was brought up. I know that salary and pension are far more critical than any other project.
“The citizens of this country matter more than an attempt to show that we are a developing nation when you people are predominantly poor. I can tell you Cross River ranks number one in terms of commitment to salary and pension yet we are number 36 in terms of federal allocation.
“Salaries, pensions, and payment of people’s due is an entitlement and it should not be an achievement. But it has just become an achievement because the gap between what I earn and what I’m supposed to pay as salary alone shows there is a deficit.
“Let me tell you, I inherited, for example, 36 months salary debt and arrears and I cleared that. And you think that is not big news?
“You think Cross River state with the lowest allocation in the country is not owing salaries, and pensions are not big news? Please go to other states and check states that earn far more than I do and still owe salaries.
“I’m strategic. If you come to Cross River State today, I am a superhero. I can tell you that I celebrate myself and Cross River residents do celebrate me.”