By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom Umuahia, June 6, 2023
Gov. Alex Otti of Abia on Tuesday reaffirmed his commitment to ensure prompt payment of the salaries and pensions of serving and retired civil servants in the state.
Otti said this during a meeting with members of the National Association of Retired States’ Permanent Secretaries at the Government House, Umuahia.
He said that his mission in government would be centered on creating a better living condition for civil servants, retirees, the rejected, poor and common man.
He commended the contributions of the retired permanent secretaries to the development of the state, adding that their collective and individual efforts contributed to his victory in the election.
The governor said that the state government would prioritise the interest of the poor and downtrodden to improve the standard of living of the citizenry.
He urged the former permanent secretaries to consider themselves as an integral part of his administration and always endeavour to bring their wealth of experience to bear.
He said that plans were in top gear to commence the identification of genuine civil servants to ensure that only genuine workers were paid salaries and to eradicate the ghost worker syndrome.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the Chairman of the group, Mr. Iheanyichi Izimah, congratulated the governor on his victory in the election.
Izimah described Otti’s election as an answer to the people’s prayers.
He said that God had raised him up to end the captivity of Abia and expressed the desire of the association to partner with him to ensure that his visions and aspirations for the state were adequately met.
He urged the state government to carry out civil service reforms to boost productivity.
He also advised him to put in place a legal machinery to prosecute any person found culpable in the looting of public funds.
“Eradicate god-fatherism in public service, fund ministries, departments and agencies to help them perform their statutory functions instead of contracting agents to do them at huge cost.
“Promote workers welfare to eliminate circumstantial corruption, falsification of age and other service records.
“And put an end to selective promotions of some civil servants over their contemporaries and seniors,” Izimah said.
He further urged the Otti administration to automate the process of internally generated revenue collection.
He said that the measure would help to block leakages as well as prevent diversion of public funds into private pockets.