Friday, July 20, 2018 3:23 pm
The Commissioner for Information in Abia, Chief John Okiyi, has called for quick resolution of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) impasse.
Okiyi, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Friday, blamed the delay in the payment of June salary to Abia civil servants on the stalemate.
“I appeal to the Federal Government to intervene and resolve the impasse,” he said, soliciting the understanding and patience of the workers.
The commissioner said that the government was doing its best to clear outstanding pensions and five months’ salary arrears of secondary school teachers.
He said: “We have paid all the 67 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) their May salaries; it is remaining June salary.
“We know we have challenges with the salary of secondary school teachers.
“Parastatal-organisations are autonomous to a large extent, their wage bill is not controlled by the government; they should be able to harness their internal revenue generation potential to fund their operations and pay salaries.”
He said that the government’s obligation to the parastatal-organisations was payment of subventions.
“As a responsible government, we have continued to pay subventions, hoping that they would augment with their internally-generated revenue to fund their operations and pay salaries,” he said.
The commissioner said that the management of the Abia State University, Uturu, had cleared itself in the utilisation of the institution’s finances.
On the Abia Polytechnic, Aba, the official said that, on assumption of office, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu approved N2 billion to defray a lingering bank facility to the polytechnic.
He said that the polytechnic had also continued to receive N90 million monthly subvention from the government.
Okiyi regretted that the student population of the polytechnic had dropped from 26,000 to 13,000.
“The polytechnic needs total restructuring,” he said.
The Chairman of the state chapter of the Joint Service Negotiating Council, Mr Chris Okoro, confirmed the commissioner’s claim that MDAs were only owed June salary.
Okoro said that the MDAs constituted over 70 per cent of the state’s total workforce of no fewer than 38,000 workers.
The labour leader also blamed delay in the payment of June salary on the FAAC impasse.
Okoro urged the state government to set up a machinery to effectively monitor its parastatal- organisations for greater efficiency.