-Duty taken over by consultant?

·        Woes of Imo workers unabated 

Imo State which seems to have become a theatre of absurdities has recorded another aberration as Mr Linus Okafor, governor Hope  Uzodinma’s kinsman who was recently appointed Accountant General of the State is said to be presently sitting and watching like a lame duck while a Consultant named Terrace hired by Uzodinma is now in charge of the payment of salaries, pensions and other duties that should statutorily be performed by the AG.

Investigation by this reporter reveals that the said consultant who hails from Oru East local government area of the state now supervises, controls and oversees the payment of salaries and pensions while Mr Okafor who was recently appointed as Accountant General only goes to Abuja as a glorified errand boy to sign out allocations due to the state and hand over the money to the consultant who now decides who gets paid at the instance of the governor who has the final say.

According to a source, this ugly development has made the Accountant General completely redundant as he does virtually nothing except signing documents. “He can’t even influence the payment of any person’s salary”, the source disclosed.

Continuing, the source said, “This is contrary to what was obtainable in the past and as provided for in the constitution where it was clearly stated that the Accountant General, being the Chief account officer of the state  should be responsible for receiving all funds meant for Imo state and it’s disbursement, with particular mention to  payment of workers salaries. When the money is received and paid into the consolidated revenue account, it is the duty and responsibility of the Accountant General to disburse it to  relevant ministries parastatals, departments and agencies.”

“This development which contravenes and runs foul of the civil service rules, guidelines and procedure is said to have worsened the already pitiable plight of Imo workers who are confused, traumatized and don’t know who to go to for explanation if and when they are not paid or have issues with what they are paid.”

On the few occasions when this reporter asked the Accountant General, Linus Okafor questions about nonpayment of salaries and pensions, he lamented that his hands are tied as he knows nothing about that, pointing out that the governor and the consultant are in better positions  to explain, thereby confirming that he is not in control.

Efforts to reach him again as at press time proved abortive.