Governor Otti Plans to Improve Minimum Wage

Governor Otti Plans to Improve Minimum Wage

… Clarifies Governance Issues

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti OFR, has announced his intention to engage with stakeholders in order to improve the minimum wage of state workers and align it with current economic realities.

The Governor who disclosed this during the 3rd edition of his monthly media chat held at Government House, Umuahia, explained that adjustments would be made due to the difficult economic situation facing the nation.

“We are engaging with stakeholders to see how we can improve on civil servants’ pay in line with present economic realities; where exchange rates have converged upwards and fuel subsidy has been removed and inflation is heading towards 30%. We are already working on improving not just minimum wage but also pay across all levels,” stated Governor Otti.

He clarified that recently retired Permanent Secretaries and Directors would receive arrears of salaries as well as their gratuities owed to them. The governor reaffirmed his commitment to defray pension arrears as promised earlier.

Governor Otti also addressed concerns over his living arrangements by explaining that he was not residing in Government House because an uncompleted building had been commissioned by his predecessor while leaving the old Government House in a dilapidated state.

Regarding the new Government House building, Governor Otti said: “My predecessor commissioned an uncompleted building – a deceitful act. He didn’t need to commission it. Construction started during T.A Orji’s administration – why wasn’t it completed then? But he waited until late into his administration before commissioning it.”

The governor went on to explain that upon inspection of this uncompleted building himself, only the ground floor had been finished well without any bedrooms or upper floors being touched at all. Therefore, there were no suitable accommodations for anyone including a governor since even office blocks had been abandoned for several years.

As for renovating the old government house buildings which were also found dilapidated upon inspection after assuming office again, Governor Otti revealed an estimated cost of over 550 million naira solely for refurbishing its offices alone stating that if he could raise such funds from somewhere else other than government coffers then maybe those renovations could take place eventually otherwise they shall remain postponed indefinitely given current fiscal constraints faced by Abia State finances.

Speaking on the allegations about spending nine hundred and twenty seven million naira ($2m) on food by his government, he maintained that the allegation was made against him by some individuals who feel intimidated by numerous reforms ongoing within various sectors throughout Abia’s economy (and therefore may try anything possible including spreading falsehoods).

 Governor Otti categorically refuted these claims saying they lacked truthfulness or foundation whatsoever adding further reassurance regarding prudent resource management practices adopted under this government’s watch which ensure value-for-money outcomes continue being delivered despite dwindling resources available year-on-year.

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