By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka—GOVERNOR Willie Obiano of Anambra State has threatened to deal ruthlessly with civil servants in the state, who allegedly connive with revenue agents to swindle the state of huge sums of money, thereby sabotaging government’s efforts to shore up the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.
Addressing permanent secretaries and directors in the state civil service at the Governor’s Lodge in Awka, the governor regretted that the action was capable of making it difficult to pay workers their salaries as at when due, warning that any public servant caught stealing government funds would not only be disgraced out of service, but severely punished in accordance with the law.
He said: “We are not so happy that our IGR is still hovering between N1.2billion to N1.3billion monthly. We can do better than that. Indeed, we can do more with the strategies we have adopted, but some of you here connive to steal internally generated revenues that would have accrued to the state government. Please don’t go in that direction again because we will arrest and disgrace those involved out of the service and try them in the law courts.”
Describing the situation as unacceptable, Obiano reminded them that his administration had continued to keep faith with the state work force as exemplified in the fifteen percent increase in their salary, as well as regular payment of salaries, leave allowances and distribution of food items to all categories of workers during festive seasons.
He, however, assured that the welfare of workers would continue to remain the priority of his government as long as they remained diligent, accountable and transparent in carrying out their statutory responsibilities.
According to Obiano, the state government would not retrench any public servant in the state, but would rather deploy every legitimate means to sustain regular payment of workers’ salaries and allowances in spite of the present economic difficulties in the country.
He also urged the workers to key into the vision, mission and strategy of his administration, promising that training programmes would be organized for the workers to enable them imbibe the core values that were required of them to ensure the rapid growth of the state.
In his speech, the State Head of Service, Mr. Harold Uduh commended the governor for what he described as the abiding interest he had in the welfare of workers in the state.
He described the state workforce as a very important constituency that should not be ignored by those in authority, even as he pledged the loyalty, support and cooperation of the state workers to ensure that Anambra State truly remained the light of the nation.