Civil servants employed by the Abia State Government are set to receive payment of their arrears of up to 30 months owed by previous administration of Okezie Ikpeazu
This was disclosed by Mr. Mike Akpara, the commissioner of finance for the state of Abia, who guaranteed the state’s government staff that all outstanding pension and pay arrears will be paid out by December 31, 2023.
In an interview with journalists on Sunday in Umuahia, the state capital, the commissioner emphasised that the state’s continuing civil servant verification programme was designed to ensure that current employees and retirees receive their salary and benefits on time.
Current Governor Alex Otti had during his inaugural speech in June 2023 promised to defray all arrears of salary owed workers in the state before the end of 2023.
“Some workers were owed over 30 months’ salary arrears by the immediate-past administration of Gov Okezie Ikpeazu,” he also disclosed during his speech.
Buttressing the Governor’s point, Akpara 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.
“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.
“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,” Akpara noted.
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