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Abia Governor Prioritises Civil Service Reform Over New Employment



Abia Governor Prioritises Civil Service Reform Over New Employment

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has said that the employment of new personnel into the state’s civil service is not currently a top priority for his administration, News About Nigeria reports.

Otti made this statement during a monthly interactive session with the media held on Thursday in Umuahia.

Addressing the issue of employment, Governor Otti clarified that his government’s focus lies on addressing existing challenges within the civil service before considering new recruitment.

He said that there is an existing embargo on employment, which remains in place until the government completes its assessment and reforms within the civil service.

“There is an embargo that I made and that embargo is still in place,” Otti said during the session.

Expressing concern over the size of the civil service workforce, Otti noted that despite previous verification exercises, the number of personnel remains high, leading to a substantial monthly wage bill for both the local government and the state.

He said the government needs to rationalise the workforce to ensure efficiency and optimal performance.

Governor Otti assured civil servants of his administration’s commitment to enhancing their welfare and improving their working conditions.

He acknowledged that while there may be workers within the civil service who are not performing at optimal levels, the government is exploring measures to address these issues.

“While 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, we are working on improving and enhancing the pay for the civil servants,” Otti stated.

He also said efforts are ongoing to enhance the skills and capacity of civil servants through training and development programmes. 

Governor Otti said his administration is fully committed to digitalising Abia’s civil service by March 2024, as promised during his campaign in 2023.