17th April 2024
Labour & Workers News

Abia Workers Happy With Otti For Paying Salaries Promptly

Abia Workers Happy With Otti For Paying Salaries Promptly

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abia State Chapter, has commended the Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, for his numerous achievements within a short period of assuming office, particularly keeping to his promise of paying workers salaries latest by the 28th of every month.

This comes as Governor Otti says that his administration is looking at the issue of N35,000 wage award approved by the Federal Government for workers with a view to implementing it.

The Abia NLC cast the vote of confidence on the Governor when its newly elected executives, led by the Chairman, Comrade Ogbonnaya Okoro, paid him a working visit during the week.

“You are doing well, and every Abian is happy. Things are happening. It shows that we did not make mistake when we said we wanted change,” Comrade Okoro told the Governor.

Okoro said the former administration in Abia perpetrated “evil act” against the people, especially with their penchant for owing workers many months in arrears, hence the workers’ decision to vote them out of office.

According to him, “The former government did not do well and that was why we vowed to remove them. I said we vowed to remove them. They were owing workers, some of them 30 months, 17 months, 15 months, seven months and these salaries were in arrears.

“Somebody that worked for 24 months without salary and the person has family, maybe paying rent, maybe he has children in the university and secondary school, I don’t know how the person will survive. But the former government did it, they perpetrated this evil act and people were groaning in penury and we vowed that there must be change and thank God, today, there is change.”

Okoro urged the Governor to see Abia workers as integral part of his administration, saying that Labour Party (LP), the ruling party in Abia, shares common destiny.

Governor Otti told the visiting labour executives that the state government had set up a committee on the N35,000 wage award announced by the Federal Government, adding that an interim report had already been presented. He however said he had directed the committee to deepen its work and report back to him.

The Governor said that his administration would critically look into arrears of salary owed workers in various MDAs and parastatals, including ABSUTH, ASUBEB, ASCETA, Abiapoly, primary school teachers among others, by the previous administration.

He also said that a team is working with the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) to reach a resolution on how to offset the arrears owed pensioners in the state.

Governor Otti regretted that there are still bad eggs in the system who still engage in padding of salaries, providing cover for unverified workers and other vices and implored the NLC to help identify such people who are stealing from the government and short changing verified workers.

“There are a lot of people who are collecting salaries but are not coming to work. My challenge to NLC is to help us, what they (the bad eggs) are doing is stealing from you. It is very important you take it as responsibility,” he implored the labour leaders.

The Governor noted that his administration may not be sharing money as was the case in the past, but said that he had been busy creating conducive atmosphere for survival of every Abian as well as bringing back all the companies that had left the state due to infrastructural dacay.

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