One of the state owned security outfits or agencies in Imo State, the Imo Civil Guards has been counting its losses by death in recent weeks attributed to their inability to access adequate healthcare services occasioned by the over nine (9) months non-payment of salaries and total neglect of the hardworking personnel by the Imo State government. The ugly development had led to the death of no less than three personnel of the outfit in the last two months.
Contrary to some media reports that upon the emergence of the present administration, that Governor Uzodinma had authorized payment of all arrears of seven (7) months salary owed the personnel which now had built up to nine months as at the end of February 2020, that nothing has been paid to the personnel who have been languishing in the sun especially through out the yuletide and dry weather.
It was attributed to the inability of the Accountant General to make necessary funds available for the payment.
One of the deceased of the imbroglio of non-payment of salaries, late 33 year old Mrs Chinyere Uzonwanne, who hails from Umuopu village in Oguta LGA, will be buried on March 12, 2020.Her family could not access medicare when she took ill due to paucity of funds in the family.
Upon investigation, a staff of the organization who would not want his name in print refuted that the non-payment of their salaries could be as a result of alleged padding of the organization wages by the Senior Accountant and Administrative staff in the Ministry of Finance.
He disclosed that hitherto the appointment of the current Commandant General, the wage bill used to be about N27.3 million but the new Commandant discovered the padding thus reducing their wage bill to only N25 million but for nine months now the staff have been left in the cold by the insensitivities of the state actors.
When contacted on the development, the Accountant General,Mr Donald Igbo did not take his call but a source close to government house indicated that Governor Uzodinma who had authorized the payment of the salary arrears as he has the payment of workers salary, as a priority has since given approval but perhaps the blame should be placed on the doorsteps of the Accountant General of the state for his inability to make funds available.
In another development, workers of the Imo State University Owerri are poised for a show-down as they are warming up for a strike to demand three months arrears of salary including that of February 2020.