BY ANAYO OKOLI
UMUAHIA—IN spite of paucity of funds, Abians have cause to celebrate 100 days of the Dr Okezie Ikpeazu Administration.
One of the good things that have changed in the last 100 days of the Ikpeazu Administration is the weeding of the ghost workers through a verification exercise. The government said that N160 million has so far been saved from weeding of ghost workers. How much to be saved from the on-going verification of pensioners is yet to be known. But to completely eliminate the ghost workers syndrome, Governor Ikpeazu must have the political will to name and shame the syndicates, who the government alleged to include highly placed political leaders and stakeholders in the state.
The government came in and got bugged down by paucity of funds, which hit many of the states, resulting in inability of the government to pay workers’ salaries. Till date it is struggling to meet up with its primary obligation of paying workers, a problem that was complicated by huge number of ghost workers.
It is hoped that the N30 billion bail-out fund, which the state is expecting to draw from the Federal Government would go a long way to help the Ikpeazu administration offset the backlog of obligations and find its development direction which from all indication is still absent.
However, in spite of the cog created by lack of money, the Government has embarked on the construction/rehabilitation of about 30 roads scattered across the state’s three senatorial zones. Most of the roads are in Aba, the commercial city that has suffered age-long neglect.
Indeed, a few of the roads have been tarred, ready for commissioning to mark the 100 days in office. It was said that most of the contractors were those who elected to help assist Governor Ikpeazu in the development of the state and so are yet to be paid.
Generally, government activities have been very dull, a situation aides of the governor attributed to the paucity of funds.
Another thing that could be said to have changed in the last 100 days is sanity in the manner the governor moves around. Not only has Governor Ikpeazu reduced the number of aides that move around with the governor, he has also stopped the presence of hangers-on and praise singers which was in vogue in previous administrations.
Days ahead would determine if this change has come to stay.