Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has unveiled a new road map to clear accumulated arrears of salaries and pensions in the state, including parastatals.
Ikpeazu also disbanded the Abia salary committee as well as other consultancy firms managing salary payments in the state due to incessant complaints of salary deductions by civil servants.
A statement by Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, who quoted Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Aham Uko, said that henceforth, Abia would utilize the electronic salary payment platform.
Uko said the electronic platform would “seamlessly” pay civil servants and disburse subvention to parastatals with a view to reducing incidences of manipulation, insertion of figures, falsifications and salary leakages.
The statement further said that the governor had directed that payment of workers’ salaries and pension arrears must be settled on or before the 28th day of every month.
However, the Commissioner pleaded with Abia pensioners to exercise patience with the state government as it was working out modalities to ensure regular and prompt payment of pensions.
According to him, the state government had constituted a committee to look into actual verification of pensioners in Abia, adding that the Ministry would soon embark on Comprehensive Physical Biometric Verification Exercise for all pensioners in the 17 local government areas of the state to get the authentic data of pensioners on the state government’s payroll.
He said that the state government was committed towards infrastructural development, collaborating with financial institutions such as NEXIM Bank, AFREXIM BANK, and ADB in charting a fresh cause for the overall development of the state.
Specifically, Uko urged the MDAs to liaise with the Board of Internal Revenue to raise Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as emphasis would be on IGR and blockage of revenue leakages through the automation of the entire system with a view to reducing human interface in revenue generation.
Uko said: “We intend to upload (salaries) electronically. From next month, there will be an auto- pay system. That way, salary payment will be seamless.
“We are going to utilize the salary payment platform to pay civil servants to reduce incidences of manipulation, insertion of figures, all forms of falsifications and grafts will be reduced pending when we formally conduct a comprehensive enumeration.
“We think by the exercise, we will still reduce some leakages. There won’t be any form of deductions whatsoever from anybody’s salaries and we are doing it straight from the parameters provided by the civil service commission as relates to salary payment.”