By Anayo Okoli
Umuahiaâ€”ABIA State Government saysÂ it still stand by its policy of not creatingÂ new autonomous communities in the state.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs,Â Chief Johnny Ukpabi, who restated governmentâ€™s position, however, disclosed that government is compiling a list of communities that lost their traditional rulers through death or other means for their replacement in line with the wish of the people.
According to Ukpabi, the government took the decision in the best interest of the people.
Ukpabi also announced that the state government had put plans in motion to clear the arrears of salary owed to local council workers by their chairmen. He said that the Governor had directed that the excess crude money be used to clear the salary backlog.
He subsequently, said that no council chairman, who owes his workers salary would be allowed to embark on any project with excess funds, until such council clears the salary arrears.
Most of the council chairmen owe their workers, salary arrears ofÂ between 3 and 7 months, while Aba North and Aba South Local Government areas are the worse culprits, an action that has caused Governor Orji huge embarrassment, because he has always given them free hand to manage the funds that comes to them.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Ohafia Local Government Area, Chief Uche Ogboso, has said that his council is not owing its workers.
Speaking at the council headquarters in Ebem-Ohafia, Chief Ogboso said his council was not among local governments owing backlog of salary, adding that his administration had ensured workersâ€™ welfare, despite the global economic meltdown.