The governorship candidate of the Labour party Dr. Alex Chioma Otti has stated that if elected governor he will downsize the state’s workforce and slash the salaries of Abia civil servants by half to meet the state’s wage bill.
He said this while addressing Labour Party candidates and members of his campaign council in his country home Nvosi Isiala Ngwa South LGA of Abia state, on Tuesday after Saturday’s Presidential and NASS elections which the party recorded the highest number of election victories in the state, Dr. Otti while explaining how he will offset the backlog of salaries and allowances being owed by the Ikpeazu administration if he gets elected said the only remedy to the salary issue is to downsize and slash salaries, stating that the Abia civil service is over bloated and needs to be reduced to half the size in order to make sure that those in the civil service receive their salaries as at when due.
On the issue of the 18,000 Naira minimum wage currently being implemented by the state government, Dr. Otti stated that it’s subject to downward review because it’s not sustainable.
In his words “I am aware of the hardship that such a decision will cause many Abia families but it is the price to pay in order to ensure the development of the state and have enough reserve to service infrastructural development, Abia wage bill at the moment is taking almost all the federal allocation accruable to the state and if we don’t downsize it will be difficult to develop other sections of the abia economy, let the civil servants and their families bear the pain because they are partners in the underdevelopment and corruption that has happened to the state over time”
On Pensions, Otti said pension payment is akin to investing in an unproductive venture but he will adopt a method of making the pensions fund which is currently being managed by pension fund administrators more productive by investing in a special account in Signature Bank for interest-yielding before rationing it to ensure that every civil servant gets at least a little of his/her money while the state utilizes the accrued interest for other meaningful interests.
He also assured the Abia business community that he will ensure enabling environment for their businesses to thrive and asked them to partner with him to ensure that he becomes the next Governor of the state.