BY CHIDI NKWOPARA, OWERRI.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, has blamed the precarious financial health on the alleged fraudulent activities of political appointees, senior staff of ministries and parastatals, as well as local government workers.
Chief Okorocha’s position was made known via a Government House press statement signed by the Governors’ Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, as fear of serious labour crisis looms in the state.
“The internally generated revenue of the state government is about the least in Nigeria, as a result of fraudulent activities of the political appointees, senior staff of ministries, parastatals and local government workers. My administration will deal ruthlessly with anybody caught in the act”Okorocha warned.
The Governor surreptitiously indicted his administration as he claimed that his government has been paying salaries to ghost workers and dead people.
“On my tours to some of the government establishments and parastatals, particularly the Health Management Board, I noticed with dismay that most of the workers do not come to work. It appears the state government pays wrong people salaries”, the Governor fumed.
Continuing, Okorocha recalled with grief that at some of the state general hospitals he visited, “only one nurse was on duty Ina hospital that has 14 doctors”.
Meanwhile, some civil servants, who spoke to Vanguard on the Governor’s outburst, said that he should profusely apologize to Imo people for spending public funds on ghost workers and dead people.
“How can a governor proudly announce that he has been paying ghost workers and dead people and expect us to clap for him? We are all waiting t see how the Governor will recover the money from the dead people he paid”, a civil servant said.
While describing the governor’s disclosure as laughable, a female civil servant accused Okorocha of paying ghosts while the living are sick, hungry and famished.