OPINION: Abia Financial Realities Beyond Feeble Rhetorics – Ikechukwu Iroha
By FN Editor on 03/07/2020
In this part of the world, government job seems to be a thankless venture. Beyond putting in great efforts at work, you must convince those who are benefitting from it to actually believe you are working.
Sometimes, you find yourself in a conundrum, choosing to either work and keep quiet or make your work known to the public.
A friend who works with a State ministry called me during the 2019 campaigns, he encountered an argument on social media, where it was alleged that Abia civil servants were owed months of salaries. He called to bring my attention to the debate. I asked why he couldn’t even utter a word, considering he is a civil servant and up to date with Salaries..He told me he isn’t a politician and wouldn’t want to dabble into any argument. To him, saying the truth on Facebook will amount to playing politics..
Juxtapose with what is happening presently, someone made a post arguing that Abia Civil servants are yet to be paid their June Salaries including pension..The poster had a field day, some persons as usual thronged there with their insults without any effort to verify same. Many Abians who received their salaries were reading comfortably, perhaps laughing. None could atleast tell the readers that they received their salaries on the 30th of June. Many of them could have gone ahead to educate the non civil servants that contrary to their posts, Abians have been recieving their monthly payments in full while their colleagues in other States receive theirs with shortages owing to shortfalls in allocations and revenue generations occasioned by Covid19 pandemic.
I have a pensioner father. He retired at grade level 16. He has been recieving full pension consecutively from December till date. Consecutive in the sense that, before December, their pension was not regular but were sometimes skipped for a month or two. He received another payment yesterday and as usual called me to give me update.
I was shocked to read where some persons openly argued that their parents have not received anything this year..Sometimes, I go into my closet and wonder how people feel excited denigrating one’s efforts..
I still maintain that Abia is moving forward.
Dr Aham Uko will continue to sustain and improve the economy of Abia state.
As at today, July 3, 2020 Abia State Government has paid the June Salaries of all Civil Servants in the State. In addition, all Pensioners that retired from the State Civil Service, have received their monthly Pensions for the month of June, 2020.
I have been around, I’ve keenly followed politics and realities. I have seen diverse interests here and there..
In Aham Uko PhD, I saw an honest and upright man. Someone who is poised to do things right.
It’s evident that while payments of salaries are being made, construction works are carried out simultaneously. Aba alone has over 15 ongoing road projects, Umuahia and other parts of Abia are also experiencing Ikpeazu’s caterpillars. It’s an evident of a proper financial planning.
After going through the gains recorded in the recently concluded Biometric Verification of Pensioners, I decided to single out Dr. Aham Uko for encomiums. He assembled some patriotic Abians for the task and successfully achieved results.
The exercise eliminated 2,893 fictitious names from the Pensions Payroll amounting to N189 million. For a year, Dr.Uko would’ve saved a whopping N2.2billion.
He recorded a reduction in the number of pensioners from 9900 to 7007. With a working database that is updatable, it will be very difficult to manipulate pension figures going forward. A structure has been instituted that will automatically absorb any retiree immediately upon retirement.
Dr Aham Uko is exceptional yet very quiet and simple.
While some persons are bent on feeding few individuals with false information about his activities, majority of Abians are grateful to Abia Governor for his choice of a Doctor of Econometrics, Financial guru and a development expert as his finance commissioner.
Ikechukwu Iroha writes from Ohafia.
Posted on July, 3 2020
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