Abia NLC Chairman Urges Governor Otti to Clear Salary Arrears, Citing Higher Allocations | #NwokeukwuMascot


Gov Otti should clear salary arrears inherited from Previous Governments, He Gets More Allocation than Ikpeazu, Yet Failed To Inherited Arrears — Abia NLC Chairman | #NwokeukwuMascot

Photo: Alex Chioma Otti, Abia State Governor.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abia State, Okoro Ogbonnaya, has called on Governor Alex Otti to address the issue of unpaid salaries inherited from the previous administration. Ogbonnaya made this appeal during an exclusive interview with Sunday PUNCH, highlighting the ongoing tension between the state government and civil servants over seven months of unpaid wages.

According to Ogbonnaya, Governor Otti’s administration has been receiving more financial allocations compared to previous governments, which should enable it to settle the outstanding salary arrears left by the administration of Okezie Ikpeazu.

"It was because of the huge backlog of salaries owed by the former administration that the workers voted it out and elected the current government," Ogbonnaya stated. "We believed that the new government, upon assumption of office, would wipe our tears and offset the backlog of arrears because the current administration is getting higher allocations than its predecessor."

Despite these expectations, the NLC chairman expressed disappointment over the lack of progress in clearing the arrears. He criticized the government's handling of the situation, noting that many workers, even those who have completed the state’s verification process, have not been paid.

"Up till now, it has been nothing from the government," Ogbonnaya lamented. "The people are groaning under heavy hardship. Every day, they visit the commissioner for finance office and Accountant General’s office, but all to no avail."

Ogbonnaya pointed out that some workers are still being owed salaries despite having been verified.

"Mind you, those that are even verified are still being owed. Some are owed three months; some are four months. That is why we are asking: what is the problem? Why are the verified people not being paid for three to four months?"

The NLC chairman also challenged the government's claim that only those who were not properly verified were experiencing delays in payment.

"Some people who have been verified were not paid for three or four months," he said. "We are trying to understand the puzzle as to why people outside the state have been cleared and have been collecting salaries from the government, but those reporting to duty in the state and doing the work daily have not been verified and not getting salaries."

Engr Ogbonnaya Okoro, NLC Abia Chairman 

Ogbonnaya questioned the credibility of the verification process, suggesting that the agency responsible for generating the verification codes might be at fault.

"When we ask the government, they keep saying the affected people have verification code problems. We asked who generated the code, is it not the same agency handling the exercise? This is the major issue."

The NLC chairman's comments underscore the growing frustration among Abia State's civil servants and raise concerns about the current administration's commitment to addressing the financial woes inherited from its predecessor. The call for Governor Otti to take decisive action and clear the salary arrears remains a critical demand from the state's workforce.


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