X-raying the issues with Abia parastatals and pensions payment (3)
The situation with other distressed parastatals mirror the AbiaPoly conundrum with the signpost being the failure of diligent corporate governance. For instance, prior to October 2018, when Dr ACB Agbazuere was appointed General Manager of Abia State Passengers Integrated Manifest and Safety Scheme (ASPIMSS), the organisation owed workers 3 months wages. But by December 2018, Dr Agbazuere, the new GM, had restructured the place, sanitized their operations, paid off backlog of wages and also paid December salary even before state MDAs received theirs. Today, that parastatal has already paid April salary of workers.
Again, contrast that with other parastatals like ASUBEB where workers in a parastatal that is in charge of basic education (Primary 1-JS3) are being paid by the state government whereas in other states the local governments are responsible for wages of workers in UBE scheme. Interestingly, former workers of state MDAs lobbied to move their services to ASUBEB to receive higher wages and opportunities whereas such persons on secondment ordinarily should be paid by their parent ministries. Senior Secondary School teachers are the only ones expected to be paid by Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) but due to the high wage bill arising from addition of JS teachers they are struggling.
To correct this anomaly, the government has set up a committee on Disarticulation of Junior Secondary Schools from SEMB and harmonization of payment of teachers’ salaries and allowances by local governments to ensure proper administration of the school system and regular payment of workers.
It is unfortunate that people who go to state owned hospitals and pay money to get cards, treatment and other services see hospital management as social service that the state government should fund as a leaking pocket. Those who toe this line of puerile argument do not bother to ask medical practitioners and managers of state owned medical facilities what exactly happens to the money paid by patients and beneficiaries of other services or why they are not managing their private clinics as social services too.