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Payment of N56b gratuities worries Uzodimma

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[FILES] Uzodinma. Photo: TWITTER/HOPEUZODINMA1

Imo govt moves to prosecute fraudulent workers

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has lamented his administration’s burden of paying N56 billion in gratuities to retirees in the state.

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Uzodimma revealed this yesterday during a special phone-in programme on Imo Broadcasting Corporation’s Orient FM, Owerri, as part of activities to mark his one year in office.

He said: “We don’t have money to pay the backlog of gratuity, since 2015, totalling N56 billion. But we are going to filter the process to get the exact amount of money due to people and, then, we begin to work out the money to begin to pay.”

According to him, the state government had verified 48,000 authentic workers under its employ, adding: “There is no verified worker that has not received his salary; 48,000 verified workers are paid regularly.”

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He insisted that those who were yet to be paid salaries or pensions might have been affected by fraud in payment system, disclosing that those found culpable would be handed over to the police in two weeks for prosecution.

“It is a criminal issue. In two weeks’ time, we are referring their matter to the police and charging them to court,” he said.

Uzodimma advised those complaining of non-payment of their salaries and pensions to present themselves for clearance, instead of blackmailing him and the administration.

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The Imo governor disclosed that those who were not cleared by the automated machine during the verification might have been receiving multiple salaries from different agencies due to duplication or had no evidence of employment.

Out of 14,000 teachers in 300 schools verified, 4,000 were uncovered as ghost teachers, he disclosed.

According to him, in the next two months, there would be the recruitment of trained teachers and rejection of those employed by the past administration under the ‘Youth Must Work’ scheme.

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Emphasising his administration’s Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, and Recovery (3Rs), Uzodimma reiterated his determination to rebuild the state by reviving the lost values that stress national interest above personal interest.

He warned the civil servants and people of the state to key in according to the dictates of the new order of his administration.

“I am determined. Anybody can say anything. By the time I leave Imo State, I will be remembered for good,” he added.

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