X-raying the issues with Abia parastatals and pensions payment (1)
Recently, Abia State Commissioner For Finance, Mr Obinna Oriaku, released a press statement titled “Our Position on Parastatals’ Salary Issues” to essentially bring to the public arena facts on what the government is doing to support state parastatals pay workers as and when due.
One key thing about Mr Oriaku’s media engagement on the issue was that he did not try to pass the buck but rather focused on solutions already in the works to solve the challenge. Having read him and the response of well meaning individuals to his statement, permit me to shed more light on the real issues behind the challenge Abia State parastatals are having with workers’ payment and leave you to share your views and suggestions.
First, I need to correct a misrepresentation of facts regarding the outstanding owed workers. While the total outstanding in a parastatal might be X number of months, it doesn’t mean that workers in those parastatals have not been paid for the past con. secutive X months. For instance, pensioners might have 17 months in unpaid wages but in March 2019 they received one month pay and just last week (May) they received another month’s pay. The notion that they have not been paid anything for the past 17 months is not factually correct. Same applies to all the parastatals with outstanding. In December 2018, for example, Governor Ikpeazu ensured that every Abia worker in our MDAs and Parastatals as well as pensioners celebrated the Yuletide (Christmas) with a minimum of one month salary paid to him or her.
It is also on record that the majority of Abia workers are in our MDAs. As at today, our MDAs are up to date with salary payment. They have already received April 2019 salary. The same applies to our primary school teachers who are not owed even a month’s salary.