Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu says he has fulfilled his pledge to workers in the state to pay all the salaries and pensions backlog, ahead of the deadline of 30 October.
He commended workers for their patience so far and assured them that all efforts will be made to ensure that they are not owed any arrears of salary.
The Chairman of the Bailout Funds Management Committee, Mr. Obinna Oriaku declared today that all outstanding salaries and pensions in Abia State have been transmitted to banks for onward disbursement to their beneficiaries.
Going by the breakdown of the payments made, three month salary arrears owed council workers and four months to primary school teachers have been paid.
Arrears owed pensioners, ministries, agency and judiciary workers have also been cleared.
The biggest beneficiaries are Health Management Board workers, Abia State University and Abia State University Teaching Hospital staff arrears running into seven and eight months have been paid.
Also paid are workers of Abia State Polytechnic, owed six months and workers of College of Education, Arochukwu, owed eight months.
Oriaku commended the educational institutions, which had found ways to sustain their operations despite the non-release of their subventions over time.
He also urged the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Abia State Chapter to support the on-going workers verification as it said the current wage bill of local governments is unsustainable.
“The monthly wage bill of local government workers in Abia State currently stands at N900M excluding salaries to teachers (ASUBEB) and local government pensioners. The average monthly allocation to local governments currently stands at N1.5B. Clearly, the current system is unsustainable as it will entail government borrowing to pay salaries,” Oriaku submitted.
The Bailout Committee is still reviewing data for pre-April 2015 State Pensions and it will be released as soon as the verification is completed within a week.
The bailout committee will review arrears of leave and promotion allowances and also some pressing gratuity claims if all salary and pensions claims have been offset and funds are still available. (The News)