Abia State needs N25bn to settle salary arrears — NLC Chairman

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia.
Abia Government will require between N20 billion and N25 billion to be able to clear salary arrears and gratuities, Chief Uchenna Obigwe, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has said.
Obigwe said this on Tuesday in Umuahia at a news conference on the outstanding workers’ salary arrears and the disbursement of the state’s share of the Paris Club refund.

The labour leader said that the union was satisfied with the transparent manner the two tranches of the Paris Club refund to the state had been utilised in the payment of salary arrears.
According to him, the government constituted a committee comprising representatives of labour and government officials to handle the disbursement.
He expressed the hope that the third tranche of the Paris Club refund would come in September, adding that it would go a long way in clearing the arrears.
Meanwhile, he said that the salary arrears stood at over N16 billion as at June 2016 while the state government received only N5.7 billion as the second tranche of the Paris Club refund.
“It will surprise you to know that by June 2016, the arrears of salaries owed to civil servants was more than N16 billion.
“This means that the state will require between N20 billion and N25 billion to be able to address the issues of salary arrears and gratuities.”
He said that the payment of June salary to civil servants from the Paris Club refund had commenced and that secondary school teachers would be paid three months arrears at the end of the ongoing verification across the state.

The NLC chairman further said that the government had handed over the salary for primary school teachers to the state Universal Basic Education.
He, however, expressed worry that only 17 of the more than 50 ministries, departments and agencies of government, had submitted their salary details to the central payroll.
On the arrears of pensions, Obigwe said that government began the payment of October 2016 pensions on Monday while November and December 2016 pension would on Tuesday.

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