12.6Billion Paris fund;Newspaper publishers Call For Accountability, Urge Okorocha To Pay Pensioners,Complete on going projects

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The Henry Ekpe led Independent Newspaper Publishers Association (INPA), the umbrella body of all Imo State based newspaper publishers, have called on the Imo State government to be prudent and accountable to the people, in the disbursement of the N12.6billion naira, Paris Club debt refund recently released to the state by the Federal government.

The association, in a release signed by Hon Henry Ekpe, Elder Chukwemeka Ike and Modestus Nwamkpa, Chairman, Secretary and Public Relations Officer, respectively, on behalf of other members, expressed happiness at the release of the fund and the governor’s public acknowledgment that he has received the money.

INPA noted the governor’s assurance that he will deploy N5 billion of the funds to the payment of accumulated arrears of pension. “Though some of our members have expressed fear that the funds may not be judiciously managed and used for the purpose it is meant for, based on how similar funds that accrued to the state were misappropriated.INPA, as a major stakeholder in the state, hereby urges the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha to shun all forms of profligacy and ensure that the money is prudently used to off set backlog of pension arrears of suffering and impoverished Imo pensioners and refund of salary percentage cut of Imo Civil Servants”.

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They also reminded the governor of his promise in a press briefing sometime in August this year, that he would complete all projects initiated by his administration, within seven months to the end of his tenure. The association, wondered why two months after the promise and few months to the end of his administration, nothing has been done in that direction, as numerous uncompleted projects still litter the entire state, while his administration winds up in the next few months.

They also appealed to Governor Okorocha to, as a matter of urgency and obvious necessity, use part of the recent Paris Club debt fund to complete work on Douglas and Wetheral Roads as the present condition of the roads, aside being regrettable has subjected traders and artisans to severe hardship and frustration.

The release further called on Governor Okorocha to “resist the temptation of letting the current tranche of N12.6billion naira Paris Club refund go into wrong pockets, be misused, misapplied or misappropriated by any person, group of persons or government appointees as our fears are based on past experience“.

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