Abia State Government through the state Civil Service Commission has started recruitment of new workers into the state Civil Service.
The recruitment exercise is coming against the backdrop of repeated cries by the state government of having a bloated workforce, which according to them has made it difficult for the state to meet up in the payment of workers salaries regularly.
At the time of writing this report, the Abia state government is owing salaries of workers of some parastatals and agencies, as well as pensioners running into several months.
For instance, the workers of Health Management Board, HMB, the Secondary Education Management Board, SEMB, Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba, College of Education Technical Arochukwu, School of Health Technology Aba, the Abia State Road Maintenance Agency, ABROMA, among others are being owed salaries running between 10 months to 20 months. The case of the workers of Abia State Transport Network is even more pathetic, as despite the protests and shut down of it’s operations by aggrieved workers, the government has refused to remove the incompetent General Manager, nor compel him to pay arrears of salaries owed workers.
According to the Abia State Government announcement, the state has the highest workforce in the entire South East region, and the least Internally Generated Revenue,IGR, receipt despite the presence of Aba, the commercial nerve centre of eastern Nigeria.
That’s why the ongoing secret recruitment into the state Civil Service comes as a shock to this newspaper. According to authoritative sources, the only ministry that enjoys prompt and regular payment of salaries is the Ministry of Justice. “The workers there are not owed salaries and allowances, said a source.
Newscritic was reliably informed that the Abia Civil Service Commission is recruiting more of Information Officers 11 on grade level 8. Sources disclosed that an interview has been scheduled for tomorrow Thursday January 28, 2021 at the office of the state Civil Service Commission, and under the supervision of the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Regina Ogbonnaya.
The interview, it was learnt will be a mere formality because the list of candidates were nominated by the top hierarchy of the state and with government approval.
Newscritic online reports that last year, Abia state government dismissed over 500 teachers employed by the SEMB without payment, on the grounds that the state lacks the resources to pay them. The teachers before their dismissal had worked for over a year without salaries or allowances, in addition to having allegedly bought the employment slots with huge sums of money.