High Chief Ikechi Emenike, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the Abia State governorship election, has pledged to resign if workers are not paid during his administration.

The Development Economist said in an exclusive interview that he is in the race to improve an existing dire circumstance for Abian citizens.

“Payments of public sector workers’ salaries would be a priority during my government. My government will not owe workers their salaries nor retirees their pensions,” Emenike said.

The APC candidate for governor bemoaned how retirees and civil servants in Abia had been “condemned to penury by successive governments’ callous refusal or delay in paying their salaries and pensions respectively.”

But, what would Emenike do differently when elected Governor of Abia State? “To signify our commitment to workers and pensioners in Abia State, we would pass a law to compel government to pay salaries and pensions,” he said.

‘As per this proposed law,” Emenike added, “the state commissioner for finance, the accountant general, and all other senior officers in the chain of command of payments of salaries and pensions will be deemed to have resigned if the state fails to pay salaries and pensions of its employees for three consecutive months. The Governor and Deputy Governor shall be regarded as having resigned if wages and pensions are not paid by the end of the fourth month.”

Workers in Abia are wailing over unpaid wages. Doctors in Abia State have shut down hospitals due to the Abia State government owing them 13 months at the Health Management Board (HMB) and 24 months at the Abia State Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) in Aba in salary arrears.

Enenike said he is bringing a new approach to governance to lift Abia from its troubled state, thanks to successive governments’ underdevelopment of the state.

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