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With the country’s inflation level on a continuous rise, Abia State Governor, Alex Otti is engaging stakeholders to improve the minimum wage for state workers to align with Nigeria’s present economic realities.
Speaking during his December’s monthly media chat at the Government House, Umuahia, Otti said; ‘We do understand that things are a bit more difficult for the people. We are engaging with stakeholders to see how we can improve the pay of civil servants in line with the present economic realities: where exchange rates have converged upwards, fuel subsidy has been removed and inflation is heading to 30%’.
He said, ‘an announcement to that effect will be made in due course’.
Away from the minimum wage, Governor Otti also clarified that the recently retired permanent secretaries and directors would receive arrears of salaries and their gratuities due to them. He also reassured of his commitment to defray pension arrears as earlier promised.
The governor, who spoke on other issues, said he is not living in the Government House and accused his predecessor of commissioning an uncompleted building while the old one is dilapidated.
‘My predecessor commissioned an uncompleted building. That’s a deceit of the highest order. He didn’t need to commission it. The question to ask is: construction started with the administration of T.A Orji, why didn’t they complete it and move into it? But he waited until the twilight of his administration. When we went to inspect it, we found out that he did a fantastic job on the ground floor.
‘It was finished well but of course, it had no bedrooms. Bedrooms were on the upper floors. The upper floors were not touched. The second floor was not even plastered. So why commission? So, I looked at it and found that it was not ready for occupation. The whole environment was also not ready to receive a governor. The office block has been abandoned for several years. So, that place was not a place anybody could live’
‘Now, I came back here and also found out that the Governor’s lodge and Governor’s office were also in a dilapidated state. I sent some government engineers and valuers and they came with an estimated bill for the office alone: over N550 million. I looked at it and said, if I have N550 million, I will deploy it to other sectors, I decided to operate from my house while I take the renovations one by one as the State finances would carry,’ Otti said about the old Government House.