Civil Servants Salaries Is A Top Priority For Me – Alex Otti


Paying salaries will be one of Alex Otti’s top priorities once he takes the oath of office as the governor of the state, according to Otti, who ran for governor on behalf of the Labour Party in the March 18 Abia State governorship election and has since been named governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Otti, who prevailed against Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in an election that was hotly disputed, pledged to pay off the state’s backlog of civil officials’ salaries, including pensions that were overdue.

The former managing director of Diamond Bank won when INEC began results collation on Wednesday after it had been suspended due to alleged PDP threats to tamper with the results from the Obingwa Local Government Area.

Otti told the residents of Abia State in an exclusive interview on Arise TV on Thursday that he would give the backlog of unpaid salaries of state officials, which total billions of naira, top priority.

He declared, “Paying salaries is a priority for me. I am unsure of the current figures, but I am aware that many individuals are owed money. Before the year is over, we will pay them salaries. By the time we finish, we’ll be ready to start looking at other economic indicators.

Paying salaries, perks, and pensions is among the simplest methods to inject cash into the economy. By the time you complete that, you will have given those who owing money the ability to actively and completely engage in the economy, enabling the economy to begin going in the desired direction.

He had earlier promised to use a comprehensive strategy to revive Abia State’s economy, which is now paralyzed and has a debt profile of well over N190 billion as of December 2021.

“Well, we’d examine a lot of things and go cautiously. Revenue and debt are crucial, but the economy is, in my opinion, what matters most, he said.

The ex-banker claimed that his administration would examine the state’s debt profile and explore various possibilities with banks and other lending institutions in order to examine the debt in a way that would allow the state to start down its path to economic development.

What are the high-yield opportunities? He enquired as to what could be done to revive Abia State’s ailing economy.

The state debt profile was well above N190 billion as of December 2021, according to records, and you’ll find that between December 2021 and December last year, the amount may have gone up. The debt profile was only N34.5 billion in May 2015, the month the present government entered office.

“One of the first things we want to do is examine that debt to make sure everything about it is correct, and only after that should we start talking with the lending institutions. That is the main task I have to complete,” he declared.

To demonstrate his readiness for governance, Otti claimed that soon after INEC announced his victory, he had already begun speaking with some banks and other lenders to determine what choices the state would choose.

I had begun communicating with certain banks and lenders as of yesterday. They would anticipate things like restructuring, forgiveness when possible, debt write-offs, interest write-offs, and general restructuring, he continued.

After talking with lenders, the next step is to figure out how to get the Debt Management Office (DMO) to approve floating state bonds.

Then, he continued, “we should be considering how to obtain DMO permission and issue bonds so that we can support these loans for a much longer length of time.”

The next issue is that we might need to take out further loans in order to kickstart the economy. I’ve emphasized numerous times that taking out loans is not problematic; the issue is what you do with them. What you need to do is invigorate an economy that is in a coma, but how do you achieve that? is by injecting cash into the market.