Imo workers including civil servants, local government employees and pensioners may have heaved a sigh of relief on the recent news in the media that a new Accountant General has been appointed for the state hopeful that the numerous financial challenges bedeviling the state including nonpayment of salaries and pensioners due may soon be over.
In contrary, following the appointment of the new Accountant General, the Imo state government headed by Senator Hope Uzodinma, is embarking on another round of verification exercise for Imo workers and pensioners.
It would be recalled that so many workers in government ministries, agencies and parastatals numbering over 1,800 as well as thousands of employees of the local government with thousands of pensioners have not received their emoluments for nearly 18 months now despite of media outcry, protests and religious appeals for divine intervention.
Worst hit are pensioners, local government staff and workers of some parastalals whose names were said to be captured in government payroll. Neither the former Accountant General nor the Head of Service could be held accountable as previous investigations revealed that payment of workers’ salaries and pensions was handled by contractors operating from the Office of the Governor, contrary to civil service rules.
A recent circular and public notice with no identifiable signature from the Office of the Accountant General with the caption “office of the Accountant General –Treasury House Owerri”, directs that henceforth any civil servant who has problems/issues with payment of salary should go to the Civil Service Commission for resolution in Liason with Data Centre Government House Owerri.
The notice also directs that any local government staff who has problems/issues with payment of salary payment should go to Local Government Service Commission for the resolution in Liason with Data Centre, of government house while any state pensioner who has problem with pension payment should go to the Head of Service for resolution.
“Any local government pensioner who has problem with pension payment should go to Local Government Pensions Board for resolution in Liason with Data Centre Government House Owerri”.
With the above information it means another round of movement and verification exercise for the workers mainly of the local government and some parastatals who have not been paid salaries since March 2020 as well as un-numbered aged pensioners who are being owed for nearly two years now.
Imo pensioners and workers have been subjected to series of verification exercise since 2018 yet they are still being owed their emoluments.
It was revealed that those who retired since 2018 and 2020 have not been captured and that no retired worker of Imo state has been paid gratuity since 2014 inspite of the several billions of Bailout Funds released to the states by the Buhari-led federal government to offset these outstanding workers salaries, pensions and gratuity. Where and when will Imo workers receive their pay for work done?