The new governor of Abia State, Alex Otti, has promised to commence the payment of May 2023 salaries and pensions to all civil servants and retirees in the state within the next few days.
In his speech after his inauguration on Monday, Otti expressed dissatisfaction with the distinction between the so-called “core” and “non-core” civil servants, adding that from June 2023, all salary and pension obligations of the state would be settled by the 28th of every month.
Otti, who was sworn in at the Umuahia Township Stadium as the fifth democratically elected governor of Abia State, said all civil servants and retirees in the state shall, from this month, earn their legitimate entitlements as and when due.
He also revealed plans by his administration to reform the civil service in the state, saying he will prioritise the workforce for efficiency and professionalism.
According to the newly inaugurated governor, the Abia State Civil Service shall run differently under his administration.
Otti explained that as part of measures to unmask ghost workers in the civil service, the state government will embrace technology.
The move, he stated, is to “determine those who had been genuinely employed and those who are actively stealing from the public treasury.”
He added, “Merit shall take prominence and only those who demonstrate requisite diligence in the discharge of their duties shall remain in the service. Technology will be used to support the Civil Service in the State.
“We propose to use technology to enable all Abia State employees, including myself, to work from anywhere to achieve operational efficiency and enhanced productivity.
“There shall be no room for corrupt practices and the full weight of the law shall be deployed in tackling all cases of indiscipline or any act that brings the service into disrepute.
“We shall be reviewing some of the most recent appointments and promotions made by the previous administration to ensure that persons recruited and promoted have the relevant qualifications and are suitably deployed.”
In their separate remarks, a former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II; and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, expressed optimism that the governor would perform and hit the ground running.