Civil servants in Abia State are in for a positive change as Governor Dr. Alex Otti has pledged to begin the payment of salary arrears owed to workers by the previous administration by the end of June, according to Aro Okeigbo Blog. The previous government had accumulated salary arrears of over 30 months for civil servants in the state, as revealed by Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, in a statement on Sunday.
Governor Otti made this announcement during a thanksgiving reception held in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, in honor of Hon. Obi Aguocha, the newly inaugurated National Assembly member representing Ikwuano-Umuahia Federal Constituency. The Governor stated that the total debt left by the previous administration, “at the last count,” was over N200 billion, emphasizing the state’s obligation to settle it.
“We will address this issue decisively. By the end of this month, we will commence payment of confirmed salary arrears,” Governor Otti assured. He also acknowledged the outstanding pension arrears owed to retired individuals, promising to initiate the payment process as soon as possible. However, he mentioned that the government encountered difficulties due to the presence of fictitious figures and unverifiable numbers.
Governor Otti explained that his administration has initiated a thorough verification process of state civil service employees before commencing the payment of outstanding salaries. “We have already commenced a forensic audit to ensure that we pay the right beneficiaries. We kindly request your patience and understanding as we strive to improve the state of Abia,” he appealed to the audience.
Hon. Aguocha expressed his gratitude to Dr. Otti for facilitating his candidacy under the Labour Party (LP) and ultimately securing his victory in the National Assembly election. The event attracted numerous distinguished guests from the Ohuhu community, which is the hometown of Hon. Aguocha.