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The Governor of Abia State , Dr. Alex Otti has reiterated his campaign, saying that his commitment to clear all salary and pension arrears by December 2023 is still very much in place.
Otti made this commitment through his Finance Commissioner, Mike Akpara.
Meanwhile, The Eastern Updates reports that the governor has so far been faithful to his promise of paying salaries of Abia government workers on the 28th of every month.
Akpara disclosed, at the weekend, that the Otti administration inherited N50 billion salary and pension arrears from his predecessor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, beside other debts he described as humongous.
There were, however, doubts in some quarters that the governor would not find the funds to clear these arrears within the time frame. Akpara, who was sworn in last week after his late appearance before the state Assembly for confirmation, reaffirmed Otti’s determination to accomplish his campaign promises, especially clearing salary and pension arrears.
He said: “We are telling Abia people that the promise we made to them that on or before December 31, 2023, stories of arrears of salaries will be a thing of the past.
‘Pensions and gratuities will be paid; salaries will also be paid as and when due, as well as other dividends of democracy made available to the citizens.’
Tasking Abians to be patient, as the governor strives to address the more than 24 years rot he inherited, the commissioner said: ‘We assure Abia people that they will be taken care of, as good days are coming.’
Part of the rot, according to Akpara, is being addressed by Otti’s administration, including the on-going verification and harmonisation of workers to weed out ghost workers.