Imo State Commissioner for Finance and Coordinating Economy, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, has disclosed that the state Government is up-to-date with the payment of salaries of workers in the state, and not owing any emoluments.
The reaction is coming contrary to a recent report by BudgIT alleging that Imo is one of the state governments owing salaries of between “6 months and above”.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Commissioner described the recent report released by BudgIT, entitled: “2022 Nigerian Sub-National Salary Survey as of July 31st, 2022”, which categorized Imo under the “red colour” of its mapping” as untrue and grossly misleading.
According to the Commissioner, the survey, which BudgIT claims is the result of its field research, is not only very misleading but also an embarrassment to the Government.
The Commissioner however demanded an immediate retraction of the publication and an unreserved apology from the organisation as the only way to correct the obvious error and put the records straight.
She said: “As a matter of fact, many issues had always surrounded the payment of salaries in Imo state until the arrival of His Excellency, The Executive Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, under whose eagle eyes, a verification exercise was conducted and many ghost workers, identified”.
She said that the Civil Service System in Imo State has been successfully rejigged, with a backlog of owed emoluments cleared, and multiple payments to fraudulent workers halted.
She said: ” Imo workers get their salaries as and at when due. Any who complaints about unpaid salaries today must be investigated as the complainant is either a ghost worker or an unrepentant beneficiary of the rot in the system that saw many workers receive salaries from different offices at the same time, a situation which has been tackled assiduously”.
She said: “The Government, therefore, wonders where BudgIT got its false facts from to the extent of publishing it and misleading the public”.
The state government cautioned BudgIT to always cross-check its facts and conduct “thorough research” so as to avoid misleading the public, embarrassing the Government, and bringing itself into disrepute.
She said: “One wonders where such unconfirmed report could spring from, considering the fact that Imo workers got a 13th-month salary bonus in December 2021, with other juicy gifts, as an expression of the State Government’s commitment to the overall welfare of our workers”.
Government, therefore, enjoins the Imo people to keep faith with the 3R Government of Gov. Hope Uzodimma, anchored on Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery, while assuring that the welfare of Imo workers will remain an issue of paramount importance and will always receive every needed attention. Better times still lie ahead.
The Commissioner pointed out that the state had also, in July 2022, finally achieved the milestone of instant Retirement to Pension payment with zero time lag.