By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—ABIA State Government said that it received N5.7 billion as the second tranche of the Paris Club refund from the Federal Government, saying that it received far below what it expected.
The government has therefore expressed fear that it may not be able to fulfill its promise to clear all the arrears it owe the workers and pensioners.
Abia State government had expected between N12 billion and N14 billion which prompted Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to promise to clear the arrears they owed the workers and pensioners by the end of this month.
The Commissioner for Finance, Obinna Oriaku disclosed this after a meeting between the governor and the leadership of the organized labour in the State to explain to labour the financial position of the state.
Oriaku lamented that the situation has put the state in a difficult position regarding the arrears of salaries of the workers and pensioners.
According to Oriaku, Abia State was expecting between N12 billion to N14 billion but received only N5.7 billion which he said could not take care of all the outstanding debts owed workers and pensioners.
The commissioner however assured that the state was still committed to clearing the outstanding arrears of salaries and pensions owed Abia workers .
He said that in the face of the present circumstance, parastatals being owed more months would be given more attention as MDAs are owed only one month. Oriaku explained that the highest state received about N6 billion from the refund.
In his remarks, the state chairman of NLC, Comrade Uchenna Obigwe described the situation as worrisome because there is a lot of indebtedness not caused by the present government.
He however said they will brainstorm to ensure that workers salaries and pensions were addressed.