I’m not owing anybody – Outgoing Abia Governor, Ikpeazu

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Okezie Ikpeazu, the outgoing governor of Abia state, has maintained that he is not owed any salaries or pensions by state employees.

Ikpeazu mentioned this while speaking on Thursday in an interview with Channels Television.

He said salaries of “core” civil servants in the state were paid as and when due.

Alex Otti, the Abia governor-elect, recently accused Ikpeazu of failing to pay workers’ salaries and declining to pay pensioners for months in the state.

Otti was the Labour Party’s (LP) candidate in the March 18 governorship election.

In November 2022, pensioners under the aegis of concerned Abia pensioners protested 45 months of unpaid pensions by the state government.

In response to the development, the Abia governor stated that pension payment has been an issue in the state for the past 24 years, and that his government has met a backlog of unpaid salaries and pensions.

Ikpeazu stated that the salaries of 29,000 of the state’s 31,000 civil employees are “up to date,” adding that the remaining 2,000 workers work for parastatals.

He also stated that because parastatals generate income for the state, their employees should be paid by the agencies rather than the state government.

“I do not pay their salaries because they are government revenue-generating agencies,” he explained.

“I don’t avoid responsibilities.” Pensions have been an ongoing problem for the past 24 years.

“I did everything I could.” This government experienced three recessions. When I took office, I paid 11 months’ salary debts within three months of taking office.

“It is a lie for someone to come in and make sweeping statements about wages not being paid.

“I owe no salary to any core civil servant.”

When asked how he felt about departing office, Abia governor said he was relieved to be leaving in the next two months.

“What a joy! I’m glad to be departing the office. I need to get back to work. “I’ve been doing this job for eight years,” he explained.

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