On Friday, September 18, 2015, the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Eme Okoro, inaugurated a committee to manage the N14.152 Billion Bailout funds released to Abia State by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria for the offsetting of backlogs of salary and pension arrears in Abia State.
Governor Ikpeazu subsequently gave a charge to the Committee to ensure that by Friday, October 30, 2015, all salary and pension backlogs in Abia State would have been offset.
The Committee, headed by Mr. Obinna Oriaku, Special Adviser to the Governor on Economic Affairs and Commissioner-Designate had as Members: the Representative of the Head of Service, Accountant-General of the State, Auditor-General of the State, Representatives of Organized Labour in the State, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Statistician-General of the State, swung into action immediately and sought to keep to the Governorâ€™s deadline.
To ensure effective discharge of its mandate, the Committee, upon inauguration, split into 3 groups to handle Parastatals, Pensions and MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies).
Today, Friday, October 30, 2015 is the deadline given by the Governor for the mandate of the Committee. It is therefore imperative that an update is given on the work of the Committee and progress made so far on their mandate.
Of the 68 Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Abia State, the Committee has successfully cleared all arrears in 64 MDAs. The money for payment to the remaining 4 are already in the Bank awaiting completion of clearance processes before disbursement.
ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY
Government wishes to notify the General Public that the current strike embarked upon by Staff of the Abia State University has nothing to do with salary arrears as Government has paid its subvention to the Institution up to date. The strike was occasioned by some demands made by the Academic Staff to the school authority which are yet to be met.
NIGERIAN UNION OF TEACHERS
There are approximately 13,000 Primary School Teachers in Abia State. Government has effectively cleared the backlogs of salaries of over 11,000 Teachers. The payment of the remaining 2,000 is being delayed because of wrong account number and other irregular details. All those who are yet to receive their salaries should please approach their banks for regularization of their details.
HEALTH MANAGEMENT BOARD
Four Months arrears have been paid. The 5th and 6th Month has been lying in the Bank. The Staff of the Board have been slow in computing their outstandings and whenever they conclude, the funds can be accessed at the bank.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT STAFF
The Abia State Government reiterates its call on the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to cooperate with it to ensure a sustainable salary payment model for the Local Governments. Government commends Staff of Umuahia South Local Government Area who have since undergone verification and restates its directive to staff of other Local Governments to do the same.
Government has paid up till July 2015. August and September have been sent to the Bank and can be accessed from next week. The Committee had challenges with some Pensioners due to wrong data imputation and urges any pensioner yet to be paid to please approach the bank for correct data imputation. The Subtreasuries are yet to submit Pension arrears Data for April 2014 to April 2015 and once the data comes in, the committee will ensure full payment to all concerned.
The administration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu will continue to do its best to meet its obligation to her workers. Government therefore calls on Abia State workers to eschew all acts of systemic sabotage, truancy and low productivity and cooperate with Government to enthrone a new paradigm of service in the state.
Government wishes to commend all Members of the Bailout Funds Management Committee for their untiring efforts towards the discharge of their mandate and offering themselves to be used to bring smiles to the faces of the people.
The Bailout Funds Management Committee also extends their appreciation to Government for the opportunity to carry out such a sensitive assignment and promises to release a comprehensive report of its activities once its assignment is completed.
SSA (Gov) Public Communications