Abia Workers Assured of Prompt January Salary, Others

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Abia State Government has assured civil servants whose salaries were paid on the 22nd of December, 2020, that the State Government will also pay them around the same time in January to cushion the effect of the new year which always comes with financial needs.

This was made known by the Commissioner of Finance, Dr Aham Uko on Tuesday at the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State where he pointed out that the salaries of civil servants in Ministries, Departments and Agencies with arrears as directed by the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.

Dr Aham Uko revealed that the State Government pays 73 MDAs and subventions are given to institutions like; ABSU, ABSUTH, College of Health, Aba, Abia Polytechnic, Hospital management Board, ASCETA.

He said, “By the Governor’s directive, we paid salaries on the 22nd of this month and pensioners were paid on the 24th of December, 2020.”

Speaking further with his host Ijeoma Nwakanma, Dr Aham Uko made it clear that the year came with a lot of challenges which skyrocketed with the COVID-19 pandemic but the State made it this far with the dexterity of the Governor.

“The year has been challenging globally but we must commend the dexterity of the Governor for trying to make use of what he had efficiently. There are so many projects going on in the State now as the Governor is trying to make use of the dry season to tidy up some of the projects.”

He also revealed that the State has implemented the new minimum wage which will also be extended to the Local Government.

“We have been paying the minimum wage as of January 2020 and we stand as the highest-paid State in the country. The Governor said it should be extended to the Local Government and it will be done by January.
We have commenced giving subventions to agencies and most of them will get it today to add up to 2 months salary that they have gotten already.”

When asked to mention how many months civil servants are owed, he said, “salary arrears varies from parastatal to parastatal and we have commenced paying the arrears. What we are trying to do is that when we pay for January, we will add one or two months arrears to it, to clear up the arrears.

Speaking on why Abia State is yet to enrol its workforce into the contributing pension scheme initiated by the Federal Government, Dr Aham Uko disclosed that the State is trying to know its genuine workforce.

“What we are doing is to ensure that we identify genuine pensioners. When we conducted the biometric exercise, we removed 1140 irregular names. If we have gone into a contributory pension, it means that the State Government has to compliment it on monthly basis apart from what the civil servant contributes on monthly basis. In this country, not up to two States can meet their contributory pension because of the additional burden on the State. We are making effort to clear the nominal roll and then prepare ourselves to contribute to it and also reduce the arrears. We are trying to clear our table before any other thing. We spend over N2.6bn monthly and we have the highest number of Permanent Secretaries, Directors in the whole South East.”

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