Ikpeazu Finally Pays Primary School Teachers, Withholds Secondary 6months, Abia Poly 10months
With the gubernatorial elections of 2019 drawing near, the various state governments appear loosening the knot on the sufferings of the state workers under the payroll of the State government. Similar to the recent release of funds to offset workers backlog of salaries in Osun State by Governor Aregbesola, the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has acted to begin the gradual release of funds to offset backlog of owed salaries for teachers of primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the state.
Information available to 247ureports.com obtained from sources within the Abia State government indicate that Governor Ikpeazu’s administration began disbursement of owed salaries to primary school teachers – who had been owed backlog of salaries for over 6months – since the inception of the Ikpeazu administration a little over 3years ago.
While disbursing funds for owed salaries, the Ikpeazu administration managed to clear the backlog of salaries for primary school teachers while withholding the backlog of salaries for secondary school teachers and Abia Polytechnic. The secondary school teachers are owed 6months of salary while the lecturers at Abia Poly are owed 10months.
The owed salaries come amidst disbursement of billions of Naira via the Paris club refunds. The government of Abia State – with each disbursement – diverted the monies to other unknown ventures.
In talking with the Chief Press Secretary [CPS] to the Governor of Abia State, Apollos Enyinaya, 247ureports.com confirmed the Ikpeazu administration had cleared the backlog of the salaries for primary school teachers. The CPS stated that the backlog were cleared in the month of August 2018. He stated that the government owes the secondary school teachers only 4 months and not 6 months as most school teachers allege. “We will clear the arrears for secondary schools by November”
As per the tertiary institutions in the state, the CPS explained that the state is not responsible for the payment of their salaries. “We are only responsible for subventions” and not salaries, stated the CPS – who went on to explain that the tertiary institution were financially independent. “They keep all the funds they generate. They don’t remit it to the state government”. He continues, “They are also responsible to all the employment of staff at the respective institutions and the payment of salaries”. The state government is not involved.
The financial trouble bedeviling the state appear hydra headed beyond the inability to workers’ salaries. Practically, the entire infrastructural projects launched by the Ikpeazu administration has grinded to a halt. This is according to an onsite visit to the numerous road projects in Aba. The popular landmark project of the Ikpeazu administration which was the launch of the flyovers has long been abandoned – owing to severe cash crunch.
Informed spectators of the Abia government point to the severity of the cash problems as peculiar and troubling. One of the sources who spoke to 247ureports.com pointed squarely to the root cause of the cash troubles as having to do with the high cost of legal fees – the governor had to incur while battling at the Tribunal. The source notes that the legal fees along with other grey area fees were financed by third party institutions like banks. Following the victory at the Tribunal, the third party institution began collecting their monies – at cut throat interest rates. “After they collect their money, nothing is left for the state”.