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Abia State Governor Announces Wage Increase and Addresses Pension Arrears

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Quadri Adejumo
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Abia State Governor Announces Wage Increase and Addresses Pension Arrears

In a significant move, Governor Alex Otti of Abia State announced plans to increase the minimum wage for state workers. The announcement came during a media parley with journalists in Umuahia, the state capital. The Governor is engaging with relevant stakeholders to adjust salaries in response to the current economic challenges, which include high inflation and the removal of fuel subsidy.

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Addressing Pension Arrears

While discussing the state's economic situation, Otti assured retired permanent secretaries and directors of the state's commitment to paying their salary arrears and gratuities. This move comes as part of a broader effort to address pension arrears in the state and provide financial relief to retired workers.

Clarification on Permanent Secretaries

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Concerning the status of permanent secretaries in the state, Otti clarified that no permanent secretaries were sacked during his tenure. Instead, he noted, they were initially suspended and then removed following due process. This action aligns with federal practices and aims to ensure the efficient functioning of the state administration.

Fiscal Prudence and Development Plans

Otti dismissed allegations of excessive government spending on food as false, emphasizing his administration's commitment to fiscal prudence. He revealed that he is not residing in the Government House as it was left incomplete by his predecessor. The Governor highlighted the bloated workforce within the state civil service, particularly redundant employees in the Government House, as a challenge his administration is seeking to address.

Discussing his future development plans, Otti spoke about the potential relocation of Modern Ceramics Umuahia due to outdated technology and the need to revitalize other industries. He expressed his administration's desire to foster tourism by improving infrastructure and security, support local government areas (LGAs) in developing their communities through healthy competition, and the development of leisure parks. Otti also touched on plans for the Abia Industrial Innovation Park, a project aimed at boosting the state's industrial sector.

Lastly, addressing the recent demolition of buildings owned by Igbos in Lagos, Otti suggested that creating an enabling environment in Abia could attract more businesses, thereby preventing such unfortunate incidents in the future.

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