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Sunday 19 July 2015

Abia State Government says it needs N6bn to clear the salary arrears of public servants in the state

The Abia State Government says it needs N6bn to clear the salary arrears of public servants in the state.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, who said this in an interview with our correspondent in Umuahia, the state capital, on Sunday, confirmed that the state had received N3bn from the Federal Government as bailout for the payment of the arrears.

Emezue said that the state government had been exploring all options to augment the bailout in order to be able to clear the accumulated salaries of workers in the state .

He assured that all public servants, including pensioners and staff of parastatals and agencies, would be accommodated in the bailout.

Workers in the core ministries in the state are owed one month’s salaries, according to government sources, while their counterparts in the parastatals are owed between three and five months’ salaries.

Some pensioners, according to the treasurer of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Sir Augustine Udugu, are owed for eight months.

Emezue also said there was no going back on the ongoing workers’ biometric audit/verification, which was aimed at getting rid of “ghost workers” in the system.

He said that Ikpeazu’s administration was committed to prompt payment of workers’ salaries, and appealed to civil servants in the state who had not been verified to quickly comply with the policy in their own interest.

According to him, all ministries which complied with the directive had since received their May salaries while those yet to do so will be paid as soon as they complied.

Responding to an allegation that children of ex-commissioners and the relations of government officials constituted the greater percentage of ghost workers in the state, Emezue said there would be no sacred cows in the ongoing verification exercise.

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