No Political Appointee Will Get Salary Before Pensioners, Civil Servants – Otti Declares

Gov. Alex Otti has said that no sacrifice by his administration to better the lots of Abia residents would be considered too much.

This is as he has directed payment of full pension to Abia pensioners, adding that pensioners in the state will henceforth be paid on or before the 28th of every month.

The Governor who gave the directive in his Easter message, said pensioners would be paid on the same day with workers in active service.

This is coming barely three days he cleared the pension arrears of pensioners which accumulated under the previous administration.

Otti vowed that “never again shall pensioners be owed in Abia State”.
The message read in part: “It is indeed regrettable that these great men and women (pensioners), who toiled for the State at the peak of their productive years were owed for so long. At any rate, as I mentioned in my address to Abians shortly after my inauguration, never again shall our senior citizens be subjected to the agony of unpaid entitlements.

“I have since directed that full pensions must be paid on or before the 28th of every month, the very same day civil servants in the state get their salaries. As a rule, political office holders will only be paid after our obligations to our senior citizens and civil servants have been fulfilled, in full,” Governor Otti affirmed.
He explained that the commitment of government to pay public workers salaries regularly by the 28th of every month was aimed at helping individuals and families on fixed income to plan.

Otti noted that but for verification of pensioners, his initial plan was to clear the backlog of their arrears in 2023.

“Our initial plan was to offset the pension arrears accumulated since 2014 by the end of 2023, but reconciliation and verification issues made us set the end of the first quarter of 2024 as the new deadline. We duly communicated the situation in our New Year message, and pleaded for the kind understanding of our pensioners.

“I am glad that we have fulfilled that solemn promise; making it possible for thousands of pensioners and their families to celebrate this year’s Easter in joy, satisfied that what they worked for, their genuine entitlements, which had been delayed for years through no fault of theirs, has finally been offset.”

He said that no sacrifice should be considered too much to enhance the welfare of the people just as Jesus did not consider his life too big to sacrifice for the redemption of humanity.

The Governor argued that his administration would not hesitate to do anything within his reach to ensure that the people Jesus died for were provided with democracy dividends.
“No sacrifice can be too big to improve the life of the very people for whom the Saviour paid the ultimate price”.

“Whether it is in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of long-abandoned roads; reset of the healthcare delivery system; improved security of life and property in our various communities; or in keeping to our promise of prompt and regular payment of salaries and pensions; our objective is always clear: to improve the lot of the average person who lives or does business in Abia,” he emphasised.

He commended Abia pensioners for their patience and assured them that his administration would always prioritize their welfare.

Otti also promised that government would continue with its tradition of periodic support to the poorest of the poor in the state, adding, that arrangements have been made to reach all parts of the state with a special Easter package for the most vulnerable.

“I acknowledge that we cannot reach everyone at the same time, in view of the limited resources at our disposal, but we shall not stop trying. My charge to you is to remain optimistic, hopeful that what you did not get today, may come to you tomorrow.

“We are currently rehabilitating major economic roads in several parts of the State. The design is to make every part of the State attractive for productive activities which will in turn create employment opportunities, put dormant economic assets to effective use and ultimately, reduce the incidence of poverty for the masses while creating genuine wealth for investors.

“In all, we are building Abia into a giant economic ecosystem that supports various ventures — from agriculture to manufacturing, ICT to transportation and so much more.

“Our dream, as I announced during the inauguration of the Abia Global Economic Advisory Council in January, is to build new possibilities for our people, creating multiple windows of enterprise in ways that profitable outcomes are assured, for those who dare to dream,” Governor Otti declared.

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