X-raying the issues with Abia parastatals and pensions payment (2)
In Abia State, as in other states, there are industrial units statutorily defined as parastatals with political authority and serving the state indirectly. The laws setting up these parastatals confer on them extensive financial and management autonomy such that they can generate revenue, through their day to day operations, and deploy same to run their operations without remitting any portion to the state government as long as it serves the purpose of good governance and service delivery to the people.
The managers of state and federal parastatals have direct responsibility for the payment of workers and in Abia State the government has long advised them to make workers wage payment a first charge on their internally generated revenue.
It is a fact that while Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the state remit their revenues to State Government coffers and in turn workers in those MDAs are paid directly from state accounts, parastatals DO NOT remit their revenues to State Government accounts and their workers are NOT directly paid by the State Government.
This applies to parastatals created by law in Abia State and it is same with other states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Because some of the parastatals perform key roles in sensitive sectors of the state such as education and healthcare, the state government supports their operations through payment of subventions to assist them, especially where the revenue generated by such a parastatal is not adequate to enable them perform such key roles expected of them in the advancement of state agenda. For instance, those in the educational sector might not generate enough resources to pay workers and still procure essential teaching materials such as laboratory reagents, teaching aids etc.