Abia Civil servants are currently in a state of jubilation as Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has made good his promise to pay the new minimum wage to workers of the state.
It will be recalled that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in his 2020 New Year broadcast promised to implement the agreed minimum wage endorsed by workers and government representatives this January.
Many civil servants in the state have confirmed receiving the new wage with their January 2020 salary today.
Minimum wage is the monthly amount paid to the least worker in the civil service and in line with agreement reached between the State government and Organized Labour, the least worker in Abia State workforce will now earn N30,100, while others were also adjusted to reflect the new wage as determined by the committee.
Speaking to our reporter on the development, a worker who gave her name as Chioma said: “This January salary came as a pleasant surprise to me. I heard rumors the new minimum wage would start in April, but when I received my salary alert my payment has increased o. Help me thank our amiable Governor for this pleasant surprise”. When asked about outstanding wages, she said they were not owed as, according to the staff of Abia State Ministry of Industry, she received December 2019 salary even before the Christmas.
Another staff, Chigozie, who identified himself as working in the ministry of finance also expressed appreciation to the Governor: ”Governor Ikpeazu is truly a promise keeper. They even added extra money to the N30,000 advised by the federal government”, he said.
He commended the Governor for being resolute in supporting the welfare of Abia workers and prayed that God will guide him as he leads Abia into greatness. Many other workers in the state ministries, departments and agencies described the Governor as the best ever with regular payment of salaries and workers welfare.
“We have always known this Governor to be worker-friendly. We can only continue to pray to God to grant him more strength to continue to lead Abia right. This minimum wage is a New Year package for me. It will go a long way in supporting me further, and I thank the Governor for keeping to his promise”, a staff in the office of the secretary to state government who gave his name simply as Iyke said.
When contacted, a principal staff in the office of the Accountant General of the State confirmed that aside from few cases arising from delayed submission of new verified payroll by some MDAs, all Abia workers are receiving the new minimum wage as pledged by the Governor. He assured those who are yet to receive that as soon as necessary documents are received they will be paid the new minimum wage. He informed that state pensioners are receiving one month wages alongside the workers.