Ikpeazu to prioritise workers’ welfare

By Sunny Nwankwo, Umuahia

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has restated the commitment of his administration to prioritise the welfare of civil servants in the state.

Ikpeazu, who spoke yesterday through Information Commissioner John Okiyi-Kalu in Umuahia, the state capital, described civil servants as the engine room of any government.

Okiyi-Kalu said the state government’s decision to pay the new minimum wage in January, despite the shortfall in Federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), was informed by the importance the governor attached to the welfare of the workers.

The commissioner, who said the state government had paid a good number of workers their September salary, added that the governor had directed the Finance Commissioner, Dr. Aham Uko, to work out the modalities for the release of the N400 million bailout fund for the state university at Uturu (ABSU) to pay workers who suffered from the forced closure of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“Starting from January 2020, the Abia State government, led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, started the payment of new minimum wage to Abia State workers. In the entire Southeast, Abia State pays the highest amount per wage level and has the highest monthly wage bill.

“While many states battled to pay half or full salary to civil servants during the lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, Governor Ikpeazu religiously paid workers and continued with his key development projects, including road construction, promotion of agriculture and SME development as well as improvement of healthcare infrastructure,” he said.

“As at today, workers in most government establishments in Abia State have received September 2020 salaries and are not owed any arrears.

“In addition to the above, the state government has already paid subventions to ABSUTH, ABIAPOLY, College of Health and Management Sciences, and commenced payment to Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) in lieu of senior secondary school teachers.

“According to the Commissioner for Finance, irregularities were discovered in the payroll of Hospital Management Board (HMB), which has necessitated a review in their modalities of payment to be effected next week.”



Source: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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