HomeFeaturesAfDB, IsDB Loan Negotiations Still In Progress - Abia Govt

AfDB, IsDB Loan Negotiations Still In Progress – Abia Govt

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Abia State Government has clarified that a loan agreement with African Development Bank and Islamic Bank, brokered by the previous administration, remains pending, with negotiations ongoing to finalize the terms and conditions of the deal.

Yesterday, Commissioner Mike Akpara addressed journalists, refuting allegations that the current administration has been accessing the loans inherited from the previous government, and reiterating that the loan agreement with African Development Bank and Islamic Bank is still under negotiation.

The previous administration had been in talks with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a $115 million loan and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for $125 million, claiming that the agreements had been finalized before they handed over power.

Akpara stated that the current administration did not inherit any loan funds ready for use, as the previous government did not finalize the loan agreements, and the government is still working to complete the loan processing.

“All of them (the loans) are still in the pipe line. None has dropped,” he said.

Regarding the outstanding salaries of agencies and parastatals carried over from the previous administration, Commissioner Mike Akpara reassured affected workers that Governor Alex Otti is committed to settling the N16.5 billion debt, bringing relief to those awaiting payment.

Akpara solicited patience from affected workers, assuring them that a well-planned strategy has been put in place to tackle the salary arrears, but the enormity of the debt (N16.5 billion) means that payment will be staggered, rather than made in a lump sum.

Read also: Abia To Settle Outstanding Salaries In Installments

The government’s efforts to settle salary arrears will benefit three key institutions: Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, which has a backlog of 33 months, Abia State College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu, owing 22 months, and Abia State University Uturu, with 11 months of unpaid salaries.

The list of affected institutions also includes Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Aba, with a significant 21-month backlog, as well as Abia State Universal Education Board (ASUBEB), State Secondary Education Board, and Health Management Board (HMB), which owe their workers various months of unpaid salaries.

The Finance Commissioner announced that the government has adopted an installment payment plan to settle the salary arrears, with a target completion date of December 2024.

“We will pay. But it is going to be paid in batches,” Akpara insisted, adding that the Otti’s administration “believes that a worker deserves his wages.”

The Finance Commissioner cautioned workers in the affected agencies and parastatals against exerting undue pressure and blackmailing the Otti administration regarding the salary arrears, which were inherited from the previous administration.

He explained that other sectors of the Abia economy would suffer should government pay the huge salary arrears at once, pointing out that, “it is not only salaries that this government is going to be paying,” and neglect development projects.

Akpara said government was not happy over the claims of the leadership of the academic union of ABSU that workers of the institution had not been paid their recent salaries.

The Finance Commissioner confirmed that ABSU staff have received their April and May salaries, with a few exceptions due to issues with bank account particulars or incomplete verification.

The Eastern Updates 

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