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Abia no longer owes salary, says NLC

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Chief Uchenna Obigwe


The Abia State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Uchenna Obigwe said the state has cleared all salary arrears of core civil servants in the state.He explained that civil servants in ministries, parastatals and departments were paid all their entitlements as at December.

The Abia state Commissioner of Finance, Mr Obinna Oriaku explained how the state’s last tranche Paris Club Refund was expended saying the NLC was part of the Committee that worked out the disbursement arrangement based on the available funds.

Finance Commissioner Oriaku said that the state government committed 60% or N3.4 billion of the N5.7 billion of its last/third Paris Club refund to paying salaries and pensions and has reformed and restructured the state Board of Internal Revenue BIR with competent professionals under the supervision of a renowned new Consultant.

The Finance Commissioner recalled that the entire share of the state second tranche of Paris Club refund was expended on paying salary arrears adding that the poise of government presently is to bring teachers and non-MDAs workers salaries to same status with those in the MDAs who were paid up to December 2017.

According to Oriaku, following the disbursement schedule worked out by the Committee, primary school teachers including MDAs workers would be paid between one and three months salary arrears such that by end of the week, over 70 percent of them would have been paid.He said his explanation was sequel to the misinformation and misrepresentations by unauthentic quarters on the issue of the current status of the state workers salary arrears stressing that the receipts from the Paris club refunds could not clear all the salary and pension arrears.

His words: “These Paris Club refunds have not solved the entire problem hence there are still gaps in some areas which we are working hard to fill. But beside clearing backlog of salaries, the government’s long term projection is to put in place a progressive monthly internally generated revenue (IGR) machinery of not less than N2.2 billion that would put government in a sure position to pay wages as at when due.”

Underscoring government’s resolve to ensure payment of salaries and frugally managing its resources, Information Commissioner, John Kalu said that the state governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu had directed that the incomes/revenues and expenditures of the state government be made public henceforth.

 


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NLCUchenna Obigwe
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