Despite series of reports and condemnation elicited by the fact that payment of salaries and pensions of civil servants and retirees in Imo State has consistently been handled by a consultants since the emergence of the present asministration the situation has continued unabated as Governor Hope Uzodinma administration seems to repose more confidence in the “ghost” consultant he hired named Terrece than in the Accountant General and the Head of Service who are said to have been rendered redundant and kept in the dark about what is constitutionally their responsibility.
Reports available to our news desk indicate that despite the public outcry and series of reports in the social, print and electronic media, everything about the payment of salaries and pensions in the state are still being handled by the “ghost consultant”, consultants.
Some civil servants who spoke to this reporter lamented that, “the most annoying and disturbing thing about the current situation is the man name Terrace who is said to be presently incharge of payment of salaries does not have an identifiable office, phone number, hence nobody knows where and how to reach him for discussion if and when there are issues to be resolved.
As if that is not enough stress, trauma and embarrassment effort to reach the Accountant General and the Head of Service has also been a herculean task as they have failed to proffer solution.
It was also gathered that, “most of those who are lucky to have been paid are those who are in one way or the other close to the Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba who has to press the buttons to ensure that those close to him are paid.”
One of the directors who simply identified himself as Chijioke further said, “the situation has degenerated to a point where some government appointees are now leveraging on the desperation of those owed by discussing with them to forfeit some percentage as a condition for them to assist and ensure that they are paid. They do this mostly with pensioners and civil servants who are owed gratuities or accumulated arrears of salaries and pensions.
However, worried by the way Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper has in line with its vision and mission been highlighting the pitiable plight of pensioners and civil servants in the state, the Special Assistant to the governor on Public Enlightenment, Arinze Nwokeji recently reached out to the Publisher of the newspaper, Comrade Precious Nwadike and warned him to desist forthwith from publishing anything about the finances of the state, threatening that, “if you continue to publish unpalatable stories about the states finances, the Imo Internal Revenue Service or debt profile of the state, you will be dealt with in the same way we dealt with Nonsonkwa who has now been silenced.”
“You can publish whatever you like about the state government but anything about finances, income, expenditure, activities of Imo Internal Revenue Service IIRS, and the office of the Accountant General are no-go areas. Be warned”, he concluded.