Abia state government says it has commenced the process of disbursing the N5.3 b Paris club refund for payment of arrears of salaries owed Abia workers.
The state's Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Obinna Oriaku disclosed this in Umuahia when he addressed journalists on the issue.
According to Mr. Oriaku, the decision followed the resolution of the committee set up by the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, for the exercise.
Mr. Oriaku said the committee intends to source for extra N700m to augment the N5.3 b to help offset the arrears owed worker.
He also revealed that the funds have been moved to designated banks for the payment while workers including council staff,pensioners,teachers are expected to start receiving their pay latest by next week.
The commissioner disclosed that some workers including primary and secondary school teachers will receive two months salaries while some MDAs will also get their leave allowances.
Mr. Oriaku, who commended the leadership of the NLC in the state for shelving its planned industrial action, also stated that the state government is in talks with the NUT to suspend its proposed strike.
He however expressed dismay over the discovery of about 130 ghost primary school teachers during the last biometric exercise conducted by the state government,adding that about 300 local government employees were discovered to have entered the service with fake certificate while 3000 staff of the LGA were absent at the biometric exercise.
Meanwhile, the Auditor General of the local government has been mandated to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the menace with a view to bringing the culprits to book.
Meanwhile,Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, said the state is targeting N2.5b monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from December 2017.
The governor who spoke during an interactive/dinner session with some Abians in the diaspora at the Banquet Hall, Governor's Lodge, Umuahia assured that the target will be met.
Governor Ikpeazu told the gathering that to enable the state meet this target, his government is committed to improving revenue collection processes to block leakages as well as ensure rapid improvements in road infrastructure at Aba and Umuahia as additional incentive for citizens and residents to pay all statutory revenue.
"Our target for 2017 is to hit N2.5b monthly IGR. When we came in, the internal revenue profile of the state stood at N500,000 monthly. We have been working ver hard on this, especially in Aba and as at today, we have hit the N1b. We are not satisfied yet. Our immediate target is to hit N2.5b by December 2017, so that we can be able to pay salaries without going to Abuja."
He added: "A businessman from Abia State is collaborating with the State Government to develop and commercialize the large cashew plantations around the Umunneochi area. This man plans to establish cashew plantations across the state and build cashew processing plants to produce cashew for consumption".
The Governor appealed to Abians in the diaspora to support his government by investing at home, promoting made in Aba goods/services and representing the state well at their countries of residence.
Governor Ikpeazu further implored them to avoid engaging in crimes as "crimes offer no sustainable benefit and as people of God's own state we must live exemplary lives for others to emulate".