…Reiterates Commitment to Transparency, Accountability
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Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha has directed the state Accountant General, the Head of Service (HOS) and the Commissioner for Finance to complete all necessary formalities for the commencement of the payment of pensions in the state next week.
Governor Ihedioha who gave the directive at a one-day Pension Stakeholders Forum Owerri, also directed the government officials to work out the authentic accurate statistics involved in the payment, just as he attributed the delay in clearing the arrears to discrepancies in the figures submitted to him from relevant offices on assumption of office.
To remedy the disturbing situation, the governor said that a committee had since been set up to enable his administration to arrive at an accurate figure for monthly payment of the pensions and to avoid possible double payment, adding that a modern scientific device of taking care of the exercise similar to that being operated at the Federal Level would be put in place.
Relying on the reports and recommendations of the experts assembled to handle the exercise, the governor said that equipment procured for this would be domiciled in each of the 27 LGAs of the state to enable the senior citizens to obtain their pensions in their LGAs of origin while those residents in Owerri, and unable to travel to their LGAs would receive theirs in their place of residence.
He explained the need to reconcile the different accounts in the system so as to put the facts right before they will commence payment, adding that he has no intention of adding to their woes.
Governor Ihedioha who gave a detailed account of the state’s finances since he assumed office, as well as the gains made since the introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA), urged the elder statesmen to exercise patience with his administration to enable him to usher in a new sustainable lease of life to them.
He lamented the huge debt profile incurred by the immediate past government, which the state is currently servicing, and reiterated his determination to run a transparent and accountable government for the progress and good governance of the state.
The Governor hinted that steps about pension payment are for the future benefit of the state particularly having to domesticate and domicile procured equipment at the various local government areas and also engaging our unemployed graduates with the necessary skills into the system.
Earlier, Chairman of Imo Pension Committee, Dr. P.J.U. Madu expressed satisfaction in the way and manner the Committee and Government has progressed so far and allayed any fear of double standards from either party and urged the government will live up to their expectations.
At their separate remarks, Chairman of the Imo State Branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Austin Chilakpu as well as other stakeholders, commended the governor for his transparency in the discharge of his duties, adding that he is certain that the governor will at no distant time, commence the payment after the verification.
The stakeholders blamed the past administration in the state for the avoidable anomalies in the state and urged the governor not to relent in his efforts to rebuild the state, assuring their readiness to assist in any way they can towards rebuilding the state.