The salary banter and disagreement between Abia State government and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Comrade Uchenna Obigwe is increasingly becoming hotter as the Union has accused Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s led administration of collecting the last tranche of Paris Refund Club fund.

Chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade Uchenna Obigwe, who made the congress’ position known on Wednesday in Umuahia, also accused the government of refusal to look into the plights of civil servants and the huge backlog of salary arrears owed workers in the state parastastals.

Obigwe said, “Whatever policy government make, they have to carry the labour along, so that we will know what they are doing. And the government should not play politics with the stomach of Abia workers.

“Let me tell you, since 1999, all the successive government in Abia had been paying parastastal salaries up to 2015, 2016. If not so, why will the bail out funds be given in 2015. Government was owing Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, about eight to nine months, the government paid it.

“They cannot culminate these arrears and leave it unpaid. We received bail out fund in 2015. We received first and second tranche of Paris fund. NLC was part of the disbursement. That of third tranche and also that of the last tranche, nobody have heard anything about it from government.

“And the information we have is that, the Abia government has received the third and last tranche of the funds. We confirmed this from our national leadership of NLC. If Governor Ikpeazu-led government say it has not received it, let the government put a letter to that effect, and address it to national President of NLC, I will take it to him, and he (President) will reply them.”

Meanwhile, the Abia government had in a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, denied receiving the last tranche of the fund.

Part of the statement read, “We wish to state without fear of contradiction that Abia is among the few states that are yet to receive the last tranche of Paris Club Refund. That the state NLC Chairman publicly claimed that he “read online” that the state government has received such payment is mischievous, bearing in mind that someone occupying his position is expected to verify information before going public and not rely on some fabricated falsehood in questionable online outfits”.

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