By NBF News
Listen to article

Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji has said the reason he is sending non-natives back to their home states is to enable the state to accommodate many Abia natives displaced in some crisis-ridden states of the nation by the activities of Boko Haram.

He made the explanations in a radio broadcast yesterday as part of the activities marking the 20th anniversary of the creation of the state and his 100 days in office. He said the move was a not vindictive measure but to, among other things, accommodate many Abia natives displaced in some crisis-ridden states.

He said further that the move would help the state government to implement the N18,000 minimum wage for workers, stressing that his administration was committed to the payment of the new minimum wage as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution as amended. 'The compelling reasons for our action are as follow: there are many Abians displaced from the northern part of the country as a result of the activities of Boko Haram and others like them, who are anxiously waiting on government for re-absorption and rehabilitation.'

The governor noted that it would be difficult for his government to achieve its desire of satisfying its workforce with its present bloated workforce in which non-natives rank highest. 'We can only achieve our desire of making our workers happy through the transfer of the non -indigenes in our civil service workforce to their states of origin.'

According to him, 'the pupil-teacher ratio in our public schools is not encouraging, indicating that we have excess teachers who are virtually redundant. And the echelon of this profession is predominantly dominated by non-indigenes, to the major disadvantages of the indigenes who themselves need to be encouraged by promotion so that new people will be recruited to reduce unemployment. 'Some time in the past, Abians working in other neighbouring states were disengaged and forced to return to their states for re-absorption. They were accordingly absorbed and non-indigenes from those states in Abia, have since been retained and peacefully accommodated.

Now that the state is committed to the payment of N18,000 minimum wage, the state cannot pay this if we silently continue to bear the burden of accommodating displaced Abians from other states, non-indigenes in the workforce and the existing workforce.'

The state chief executive noted further that non-natives working in the state's tertiary institutions were not affected in the policy, adding that he had already written to the governors of the affected states to accommodate the disengaged non-natives in their respective states to lessen their ordeals.

He said he would be the first to admit that in the past 20 years of the creation of the state the state 'needs to do more than where we are now, especially in the creation of decent urban cities, durable infrastructure, and creation of employment for our people.'