Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, on Monday, directed the immediate payment of arrears of April salaries owed public workers in the state by the immediate past government as well as the payment of June pensions to retirees.
Some of these pensioners are being owed upwards of 50 months by the last administration.
The Governor gave the directive on Monday after a meeting of the Executive Council which had the Deputy Governor, Engr Ikechukwu Emetu, 16 newly sworn-in Commissioners, the Accountant General and other senior functionaries of the State in attendance, stating that the payments are in fulfillment of his campaign promise not to owe pensioners and those in service and to clear all outstanding verified debts.
Otti directed the Accountant General to ensure that both the April 2023 salary arrears and the June 2023 pension are paid before the end of the week, despite the ongoing verification of pensioners and workers in the government payroll.
“I know the government will be losing money by making these payments since verifications of workers and pensioners are still going on. So far, we have unearthed a lot of ghost names in our payroll but I also know there are a lot of genuine names there.
“What we are doing by making these payments, especially as it relates to pensioners, is to help mitigate the sufferings of genuine pensioners, who are mostly elderly and sickly and have had to endure untold hardship for so long,” Otti stated while explaining the reason for his decision.