Otti reiterates commitment to paying back salaries owed to Abia employees

Otti reiterates commitment to paying back salaries owed to Abia employees

Gov. Alex Otti has said that his earlier promise to clear all outstanding salary arrears of Abia workers by December 2023, remains sacrosanct.

The Governor who spoke through the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Mike Akpara, said his administration inherited a whopping N50 billion salary arrears from his predecessor, Okezie Ikpeazu, besides other humongous debts.

Akpara, who was sworn in earlier in the week as he was outside of the country when other Commissioners were inaugurated, assured that under Otti ‘s watch payment of workers would remain a priority.

He reaffirmed Gov. Alex Otti’s determination to accomplish his campaign promises, especially, clearing salary arrears owed civil and public servants in the state by the last administration.

“We are telling Abia people that the promise we made to them, saying that on or before the 31st of December, stories of the arrears of salaries will be a bygone issue and it is going to be sacrosanct and we will deal with it as expected of us.

“Pensioners will be paid, gratuity will be paid, salaries will be paid when due, and other things that are due to Abians as pertaining to dividends of democracy will definitely come to them.

“Let’s just be patient. This rot was done in not less than 24 years, so it is not going to be something that will be freed up in the next two months.

“But with time, with God on our side, with the zeal in us, I am assuring Abia people that they will be taken care of, the good days are coming.”

The commissioner said that the governor initiated the ongoing verification and harmonisation of civil servant in order to truly ascertain the state’s genuine workforce.

“We came with several manifestoes and one of them being to ensure that the Abia workforce is taken care of

“His Excellency has abolished core and non-core staff in the civil service.

“There is no core or non-core staff anymore. What it means is that everyone is equal and a labourer should receive his pay.

“And to that effect, we are doing this harmonisation and regularisation, making sure that we pay the genuine workers.

“There are some people that do not come to work but they collect salaries at the end of the month.

“There are some people that put in fictitious names to collect salaries.

“This is not going to continue to happen and that is exactly why it is very rigorous.

“We are just taking these pains to make sure we weed out all those bad eggs.

“And as soon as it is done, things will begin to work for us seamlessly,” Akpara said.

He said that the administration had deployed a salary payment Application (App) system, which would help to eliminate the current hiccups being encountered in salary payment.

He attributed the problem associated with the current salary payment to the refusal by Ikpeazu’s government to adopt the App for salary payment.

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