Abia to overhaul civil service to address rot in system

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Abia State government is to overhaul its civil service to correct anomalies that resulted to the over bloated monthly pension wage bill currently faced by the state.
Abia has a monthly pension liability of N450 million for retired state civil servants and N380 million for retired local government staff.
Obinna Oriaku, state’s commissioner for finance, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists at the State Secretariat, Umuahia, observed that several years of rotten civil service system in the state was responsible for the lofty pension arrears and outrageous wage bill bedevilling the state.
He noted that improper and undeserving promotions in the civil service led to excessive increase in salaries, which resulted to the current problem of high pensions in the state.
Reacting to questions on the recent protest staged by some pensioners on May 1, 2019, in Umuahia, he described the situation on the issue of pensions as fundamental, which must be addressed for the state to move forward.
According to him, “It is a fundamental problem that has nothing to do with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. It’s a problem that we’ve been able to diagnose and identify where the problem is from.
“I’m very careful when I talk about pensioners, because, some of us are well groomed in African culture, because you’re talking about old people, who are our mothers and fathers.
“But as a government, we take responsibility of whatever goes on, as it affects our standing with pensioners.
‘At the inception of this administration, the Federal Government asked the entire states to sum up their outstanding liabilities, by way of pensions, gratuities and salaries.
“We did that and the total outstanding of Abia State was about N39 billion. This includes gratuity of over N20 billion and the other ones outstanding pensions and