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Abia Govt To Settle All Unpaid Arrears By December

The Commissioner for Finance of Abia State, Mr Mike Akpara, has reassured the state’s government personnel that all outstanding pension and salary arrears will be paid latest by December 31, 2023.

Speaking in an interview with a few journalists on Sunday in Umuahia, the state capital, the Commissioner stated that Governor Alex Otti’s administration would go above and beyond to keep all of her campaign commitments to the people of Abia.

He emphasised that the state’s continuing civil servant verification programme was designed to ensure that current employees and retirees receive their salaries and benefits on time.

He stressed that when the exercise was done, which is already showing results, it will put an end to the “ghost workers” mentality in the civil service.

“We urge Abians to be patient with us because we are already making progress with the verification; pensions, gratuity and salaries will be paid as and when due and other things that pertain to the dividends of democracy will get to the people,” he said.

According to Akpara, Otti entered politics because he feels Abia needs change and is motivated to bring about noticeable reforms in government.

He said, “For over eight years we fought the political battle to liberate Abia with our principal and to God be the glory we were able to capture the seat of power.

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“But for us it’s not just about capturing the seat of power because they said to whom much is given, much is expected and the reward for hard work is more work. We came into government with several manifestoes and one of them is that the workforce of Abia State must be taken care of, the governor has abolished the era of core and non-core civil servants.

“The workers must receive their salaries as at and when due. That is why we are doing the regularization and harmonization of civil servants making sure that we pay the genuine workers.

“We are telling the Abia people that the promise we made to them concerning paying all arrears of salary on or before December 31, 2023, remains sacrosanct. Things will definitely change in the State in terms of infrastructure, health and education.

“As we speak it seems that the only functional public health institution in the State is the federal medical centre Umuahia all the other government general hospitals in Aba, Okpuala Ngwa, Arochukwu and others are all gone. But we are promising Abians that we will bring that hospital back to life.

“We are urging Abians to be patient with us, as we work hard to rewrite the wrongs that were done in 24 years, it can’t be cleaned up within two months, but with time and God on our side and our determination, I’m assuring Abians that help is here at last. The point is that Rome was not built in a day.

“The people managing the payment app we are using now said they had advised the previous administration to use the app but they refused because people were hiding certain things. That’s why we have said that we must remove all those ghost workers from the system.

“They are some people that don’t come to work but they collect salary, some people put fictitious name to collect salary, but it will not continue again. That is why we are taking the pain to do the verification and as soon as we are done, things will take a new shape.”

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