Abakaliki - Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi on Monday directed the immediate payment of June and July salaries of workers in the state.
Umahi gave the directive during the commencement of workers verification in Abakaliki, to weed out ghost workers in the state's workforce.
“I will direct the deputy governor who is the chairman of the verification committee to ensure that the July salary was paid along with the June salary.
“I also reiterate my pledge not to cut down the salaries of workers or downsize the workforce, as we are all citizens of the state.”
Umahi noted that during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja last week, the issue of salary payment was highlighted, especially those of local government workers.
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“I asked some governors on how they cope with the salary issue and some said they have reduced their workforce which, however, I am not going to do.”
The governor said that the planned Teachers Conference to be convened in the state, would revolutionalise teaching in the state and make its education sector a model in the country.
Senator Emmanuel Onwe, the state Commissioner for Information, explained that the verification had been hitch-free, as it was not meant to witch-hunt anybody.
“The exercise is aimed at sanitizing the system to plug all leakages where government funds are wasted on payment of non-existing workers.
“We will not talk about the discovery of ghost workers in the state from the exercise until it is concluded as about 660 ghost workers have been discovered in the local government system,” he said.
In a reaction, Angela Ike, a Civil Servant said the exercise should be conclusion speedily in order to pay workers their delayed salaries.
“The exercise has been smooth so far but those involved are slow, which heightens the fear,” she said.
The exercise was being carried out qt 84 verification points across the state.