Gov Otti Acknowledges Multi-million Dollar Inherited Loans; Details Plan to Clear 11 Months of Unpaid Salaries at ABSU, Other Institutions | #NwokeukwuMascot


Abia State Government Unveils Plan to Address N16.5 Billion Salary Arrears | #NwokeukwuMascot

Dr Alex Chioma Otti

The Abia State Government has announced a strategic plan to clear N16.5 billion in salary arrears owed to civil service workers. This plan, which involves installment payments, aims to maintain financial stability and promote sustained economic growth.

The announcement was made by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Mike Akpara, during a press conference in Umuahia on Tuesday. Akpara emphasized the administration’s commitment to resolving salary debts, stating, “A worker deserves his wages.” He highlighted that the current administration inherited substantial debts from previous governments, including a N16.5 billion debt owed to employees in state-owned educational institutions.

“To stimulate the state’s economy, we need to improve the circulation of money,” Akpara said, revealing the government's determination to clear these arrears while also making progress in other economic sectors. The repayment plan is set to begin by “July or August” with a target completion date by the end of the year.

The debts include salaries owed to employees of Abia State University (ABSU), College of Education Arochukwu, College of Health Sciences, Abia State Polytechnic Aba, and Abia State University Teaching Hospital. Akpara noted that the government has already made progress by paying the salary arrears for April and May to workers at ABSU.

Previous administrations accrued these substantial debts, including 33 months of unpaid salaries at Abia Polytechnic, 22 months at the College of Education Arochukwu, and 11 months at Abia State University. Other institutions, including the Hospital Management Board, were also heavily owed.

In response to public criticism, Akpara defended Governor Alex Otti, urging residents to support the government’s policies and programs. He clarified that the current administration has not applied for any new loans since taking office and has been managing its finances prudently. He acknowledged that loan requests initiated by the previous administration with the Africa Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank are still being processed, stating that the current government is completing these processes because “government is a continuum.”

Akpara assured that the administration is committed to conducting verification exercises to maintain order and efficiency within the civil service. “We will continue to dedicate ourselves to the good works that the state requires to ensure that the people receive the dividends of democracy,” he concluded.

This strategic approach by the Abia State Government aims to ensure financial stability while gradually addressing substantial salary arrears, thereby maintaining continuous economic growth and stability.


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