PENSION ARREARS: Abia State Government Misrepresented Payment. We only received 9 months pension arrears owed by Otti administration, not 9 years – Abia NUP Chairman | #NwokeukwuMascot


...Confusion Surrounding Pension Arrears Payment Undermines Credibility of the LP led Abia State Govt | #NwokeukwuMascot

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In recent weeks, there have been media reports alleging that the administration led by Dr. Alex Otti has cleared the arrears of pension owed to retired Abia workers since the tenure of past Governors, including Orji Uzor Kalu, TA Orji, and Okezie Ikpeazu, spanning 24 years.

However, the media aides to Abia state Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, later claimed that they had paid 9 years' worth of pension arrears to retired Abia workers. This announcement has caused tension in the state between the Governor's loyalists and the opposition parties, as well as concerned Abia citizens.

To address the confusion, the Chairman of the Abia state Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Elder Chukwuebuka Irondi, clarified the situation during an interview with newsmirrorng correspondent, Elder Irondi who expressed gratitude to Governor Alex Otti for making some payments to Abia pensioners disputed the claim that they were paid 9 years' worth of arrears. He explained that what was actually paid was not even the arrears owed by past administrations, but the arrears accumulated during the Otti government's tenure.

According to Elder Irondi, when Dr. Alex Otti assumed office, he started paying half of the pension from June 2023 to February 2024. The payment made in March 2024 was the remaining balance of the arrears accumulated by the Otti government, along with an unclear additional sum. Elder Irondi expressed uncertainty about how this sum was calculated.

“When Dr. Alex Otti was sworn – in, he started paying us half pension from June, 2023 to February, 2024. But, this time, what he paid us in March 2024 is the balance of the arrears accrued by his own government and a paltry insignificant sum on it, that we don’t even know how it was calculated”, Elder Irondi said.

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Ferdinand Ekeoma, had mentioned that the payment was made in agreement with the leadership of the Abia state Union of Pensioners. However, when contacted, the National Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Comrade Godwin Abumisi, stated that he was aware of the conflict between Abia pensioners and the current government but could not comment until the Abia state chapter of the union briefed the national body.

“We took it to the extreme and, indeed, the had mentioned 2014 but from the information i have gathered, we even went beyond 2014 because there were some persons that were owed arrears before 2014 and we also cleared. It is not of equal basis”, Mr Ekeoma told newsmen in Umuahia.

During a radio program on LoveFM 99.9 in Umuahia, the Abia state commissioner for finance, Mike Akpara, admitted that they had not fully cleared the pension arrears as claimed by the Governor's media aides. He stated that they had paid some and "wrote some off," but further explanation is needed from the Abia state Government and the leadership of the pensioners to understand what exactly this means. This conflicting information has raised questions about who is telling the truth between the Governor's media aides and the Commissioner for finance.

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In response to the interview by the Commissioner for finance, Elder Irondi refuted the claim that there was an agreement to write-off any money owed to the pensioners. He accused the Commissioner of deceiving the people of Abia. Elder Irondi recalled an incident when the pensioners' leadership was invited by the Abia state government, kept hungry and frustrated until midnight, and presented a document for them to sign, which did not indicate that they had forfeited their owed pension.

The contradictory statements from the Abia state government have caused confusion regarding the payment of pensions, leading to disappointment among some people towards the Alex Otti-led government. Activists and citizens, such as Dom Nik, Barr Ememanka and others, have expressed their concerns and criticized the government for the lack of transparency and fulfillment of promises made during the election campaign.

Protesting Abia Civil Service Retirees

The UK trainer Doctor and well known activist, Dom Nik reacting to the controversy took to his Facebook page to say “I just listened to the Commissioner of Finance talking about Abia Pensions and payment. This is shocking. 

“Right from 2015, 2019, and 2023, Governor Alex Otti has always talked about the payment of outstanding pensions as his cardinal campaign point. 

“To Become Governor and start singing another tune after promising to pay up by December 2023 and first quarter 2024. 

“You can't campaign and win elections using the plight of pensioners and later dump them after winning. Mbanu..God hears the cries of Pensioners. Try and see!” He said.

Barr Onyebuchi Ememanka(Ururuaja), known for his exceptional sarcasm, commented on Dom Nik's post and argued that the Media Aide to Dr. Alex Otti would, in his usual way, release a long press statement to justify the state of confusion.

Ururuaja’s words: “Dom Nik, I don't believe you. Wait until Ferdinand Ekeoma comes with a comprehensive press release to clear the air. Otti has cleared all pensions, abeg. I don't want to hear pim about pensions again in Abia State.”

The recent controversy surrounding the payment of only 9 months' worth of verified pension arrears, which the government claimed to be 9 years, has further eroded the credibility of the Dr. Alex Otti-led Abia state Government.


  1. The 9 months pay is yet to go round please let those of us that have not received our own be paid and then we will follow our colleagues to rejoice and hope for something better tomorrow.thanks and God bless you.


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