Otti: Employment not my govt’s priority for now

Governor Alex Otti of Abia has expressed his administration’s readiness towards addressing the socio-economic challenges of his state, adding that it is not on the front burner of his government to employ new people into the civil service.

The governor made this known during the monthly interactive session with the media on Thursday, May 9, in Umuahia, the state capital.

Otti said that the issue of employment would arise when the government finished dealing with what it met in the civil service.

“There is an embargo [on employment] that I made, and that embargo is still in place,” Otti said.

The governor complained that the number of persons in the civil service was still very high, even after verification.

Otti decried the huge wage bill of about four billion naira for both local government and state monthly.

The governor, however, assured that the government was working assiduously on improving and enhancing the pay for civil servants.

He said that the government was aware that there were quite a lot of people in the service who might not be contributing at optimal levels and would need to do something about it.

“So, it may not be a priority at this time to open up the doors to bring in new people, except if we have a way of exiting a few people,” Otti said.

“But you know, with the civil service rules, it is not going to be very easy to exit people.

“What we are trying to do with the establishment of the Civil Service Commission and resumption of the new Head of Service and new Permanent Secretaries is to ensure that our people are adequately trained.

“This is to enable them to operate their skills and perform better.”

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