It was gathered that Abia State Governor-elect, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has said his coming on board would mark an end to the era of salary arrears in the state, assuring that under his watch, Abia workers will earn their salaries on the 24th of every month.
He, however, added that he would carry out workers’ audit to verify the actual population of Abia workers, arguing that it is not logical to spend a whopping N2.5 billion of the state’s paltry N3 billion monthly allocation on civil servants that are less than 15,000 while nothing is left to cater for other citizens of the state.
Ikpeazu, who stated this while speaking at an interactive forum with Aba business community and members of ‘Kezie Abia Forum,’ said his administration would not neglect the welfare of workers but added that it would also not sacrifice the interest of non-civil servants that constitute the greater percentage of the people.
While civil servants in the core ministries are not being owed according to government sources, workers in the parastatals complain of arrears ranging from two to five months in some instances.
Government argues that the parastatals are creations of law and should source for funds to augment their subventions and pay their staff.
Ikpeazu also read a riot act to contractors and those jostling for space in his government, vowing to disgrace anyone who failed to deliver according to specifications.
“If I give you a job and you fail to deliver, we will disgrace ourselves,” he said, adding that his decision to ban visitors from paying him homage was to enable him prepare for the task ahead.
He further hinted that when sworn in, he would not want to be addressed as “Your Excellency,” but simply as “Governor,” arguing that “it is only God that is excellent.”
Earlier in his remarks, Leader of ‘Kezie Abia’ group that organised the forum, Comrade Dan Ubani, tasked Ikpeazu on service delivery, saying Abians will hold him accountable for all his campaign promises.