Abia adopts ‘survival strategy’, rules out ‘retrenchment’

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Abia_state_towerAs revenue accruing to the three tiers of government continues to decrease, Abia state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, said he has initiated “survival strategies” that would keep the state afloat and enable his administration to fulfill its financial responsibilities.

The strategies, he assured, would put the state in a good stead to avoid taking harsh decisions of reviewing the N18, 000 minimum wage downwards and reduction of workers next year as being speculated that governors would likely take in view of the current economic downturn.

Governor Ikpeazu spoke about the survival strategies during an end of year media interaction, saying that part of the measures already adopted was to ensure that every taxable adult in Abia contributes to government revenue.

“For now we are not contemplating downsizing the workforce. Times are hard but Abia is not on relegation zone. We are also not contemplating reducing wages of workers,” he said, adding, “Abia is among the states paying the highest salary to workers. We will sustain that; all we need from workers is commitment to duty.”

Ikpeazu, who painted a bad picture of the revenue from federal allocation, said that it has dropped from N2.4 billion to N2.2 billion, representing a 50 percent drop from the N4.5 billion that the state used to get hence the need to re-invigorate the internally generated revenue (IGR) machinery.

He said that government was determined to block all loopholes that made it possible for as much as 70 percent of IGR to grow wings before reaching the coffers of government, adding that the adoption of a quasi treasury single account (TSA) would curb revenue leakages.(Thisday)

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