Dr. Alex Otti, the Governor-Elect of Abia State, has assured workers and pensioners in the state of an end to the era of salary and pension arrears.
In a message to workers on the occasion of the 2023 Workers’ Day celebration, Otti promised prompt and regular payment of salaries once he assumes office on May 29.
He titled his goodwill message “At last, Help is Here,” declaring his emergence marked the beginning of a new era in Abia, assuring that every sector of the state would soon witness transformation.
“A year ago, I did the usual ritual of felicitation to you all, and I did reassure you that sooner than later, the ruinous era of gloom and sobriety would give way for a new dawn of blessings and abundance.
“Today, by the mercy of the Almighty God, our prayer, battle cry and admonition, ‘Weep no more, help is on the way’, your prayers have been answered and we can assuredly declare, help is here!”
He applauded the workers in the state including those in the Local Governments for their resilience, long suffering and uncommon dedication to duty despite being owed many months of salary arrears.
He said, “I consciously chose to address you as “fellow workers” because, on Saturday, March 18, 2023, you joined thousands of passionate, enthusiastic and patriotic Abia voters to hire me as your employee. That noble and humbling decision has placed an additional burden of service on my shoulders.
“On behalf of the good people of Abia State, I wish to sincerely congratulate the organised labour led by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other such bodies on this year’s celebration.
“I particularly salute our workers in the State and Local Government civil services, who, despite being owed many months of salary arrears, have ensured that the wheels of public service continue to spin.
“I’m aware as usual, that most of you will be celebrating this year’s May Day on empty stomachs as a result of non-payment of salaries. Be assured that such a sad experience will become a thing of the past going forward. I commend your resilience, long-suffering and uncommon dedication to duty in the service of our dear State.”
Noting that poorly remunerated workers pose a security risk to society, Otti promised to prioritize the welfare of workers.
“I have always held the view that a worker that is neglected or poorly treated is a threat to the economic prosperity of a state and argued that one of the ways to stimulate a depressed economy is to pay salaries and allowances as well as pay contractors to inject funds into the economy, which will in turn lead to increased demand for goods and services, higher productivity and job creation.
“I’m convinced that God saw through our hearts, hence, He crowned our efforts with that nationally celebrated historic victory that has given us the platform to serve you,” he said
He further assured to hit the ground running immediately after his swearing-in on May 29 despite the daunting challenges being handed over to him by the outgoing Government.
“We are not unmindful of the enormity of the rot ravaging every sector of our economy, vis-a-vis the humongous liabilities being left behind by the outgoing PDP government, however, we are undaunted because we came prepared and will therefore hit the ground running, despite the challenges.
“We will move speedily, vigorously and decisively in the task of rebuilding our state and in our efforts to create wealth, jobs, prosperity and opportunities for our people, at all levels.”