The former governor of Abia State Senator T.A Orji, has advised Governor Okezie Ikpeazu not to drag him or his administration into the current faceoff between him and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over unpaid wage bills.
In press release titled “IKPEAZU SHOULD CARRY HIS CROSS” which was signed by Senator Orji’s Liaison Officer Ifeanyi Umere, the Senator who now represents Abia Central at the national assembly, posited that his administration is not responsible for the staggering salary arrears owed both civil servants, parastatals and pensioners in the state.
He revealed that as at May 29,2015, no core civil servant was owed even one month salary arrears and that in the case of parastatals, they were owed between two and four months. He further explained that the two to four months salary backlog was due to dwindling federal allocation occasioned by the worsening global economy.
The senator wondered why the backlogs got to 35 to 40 months even when the Ikpeazu’s government received bail out funds from the federal government more than three times running into billions of naira.
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Ikpeazu should carry his cross
It’s unfortunate that I am forced to comment and refute the half-truths being dished out by those who through their own bad choices have found themselves in a quagmire.
For the avoidance of any doubt, neither myself nor my administrations is responsible for the staggering salary arrears owed both civil servants, parastatals and pensioners in the state.
Before my administrations came to an end on May 29,2015, core civil servants were not owed even one month salary arrears. Parastatals were the ones that were owed between two and four months. The records are there.
At any rate,the arrears were necessitated by the dwindling federal allocation occasioned by the worsening global economy. The price of crude had crashed and the states were getting a paltry two to three billion naira monthly which was not even enough to run the state including capital and recurrent expenditures.
Those who took over from us inherited both assets and liabilities. In this case, government is a continuum. So, if we were owing two to three months, we expected out successors to clear them . This expectation was based on the fact that they received bail out funds from the federal government more than three times running into billions of naira. Again the economy had picked up considerably enabling the outgoing government to chalk up considerable income as can be confirmed from the ministry of finance.
So why was it difficult for them to offset the debts? Again if for any reason they couldn’t or were unwilling to offset,why did they allow it to skyrocket to between 35 and 40 months? Why are they also owing core civil servants? So basically, I am not the problem. They should carry their cross.
For .Distinguished Senator TA ORJI