Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji
By Olaolu Olusina
Abia State Government , weekend, stated that the recent staff rationalisation in the state civil service in which non-indigenes of the state were affected is neither a retaliatory action nor a repercussion of many cases of withdrawal of services of Abia indigenes from other states.
The government noted that the exercise as well as the staff audit and increment in taxes were just ways the state government was trying to adjust to the payment of the new minimum wage, saying the issue should not be politicised.
A statement by the special adviser to the governor on public communication, Mr. Ben Onyechere, which was made available to THISDAY in Lagos, said, “The combination of reactions is depicting frayed nerves in sympathy with those affected in this move to backload staff to their various states without corresponding consideration for Abia which has suffered similar fate severally in hands of neighbouring states without raising a voice.
“Inasmuch as the government of Abia State is not beating its chest on the recourse to staff rationalisation, the action is pertinent as the state cannot shy away from confronting reality and holding the bull by the horn rather than defer the doom’s today with the decisions which ought to be made as a direct consequence of realities in recent time.”
Onyechere maintained, “The governor of Abia State is an amiable, competent and experienced man of honour as well as a seasoned civil servant who does not grandstand nor is he an applause-seeking chief executive. Rather, he is a very detailed, patient and slow-to-anger kind of person who devices the strictest firmness when the need arises without much hue or cry.”
The special adviser stated further that the process of rationalisation did not happen in a day as the governor had written to consult with the governors of the affected states on his line of action, which is one of the fall-outs of the payment of minimum wage to staff of state governments.
“The reason for such notifications were, firstly, to find common grounds suitable to each state in the obvious need to exchange staff and, primarily, to eliminate the sense of suddenness and surprise,” he said.