Uzodimma apologises to Imo workers, begins payment of gratuities, pensions to retirees
•Set to flag off social health insurance programme
•Imo Speaker, PDP, LP guber candidates hail workers
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has apologised to Imo workers for delayed payment of salaries in the period of automation and bio data capturing.
The governor also said the state government has commenced the payment of over N169 billion in gratuities and pensions owed retirees in the state, cumulatively, since 2007. Uzodimma disclosed this, yesterday, during the May Day celebration, which was held at Rear Admiral Ndubusi Kanu Square, Owerri.
He said: “Payment of salaries were delayed. This is due to the biodata-capturing automation, which must be done if the state must grow, and a leader must have the courage to do such. That was what I did.
“For the inconvenience, I apologise to workers. “We have a debt portfolio of over N169 billion unpaid gratuities and pensions in Imo State since 2007. Some of these pensioners have died. They were denied of having their money. The payments have started. Those that have died, we would pay to their next of kin.”
According to the governor, the state government is enjoying “industrial harmony, with impeccable synergy,” with workers in the state.
On health programme for workers, the governor said that in addition to the welfare packages he has put in place for them, there would be free Medicare programme that will attract minimum of N80 million, which would be paid on a monthly basis by the state government for the treatment of workers, except cancer ailment.
Meanwhile, the state Assembly Speaker, Emeka Nduka, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) governorship candidates in the November 11 election, Samuel Anyanwu and Athan Achonu, respectively, have congratulated workers in the state and across Nigeria for the resilience and commitment to their duties despite encumbrances.
In their separate statements, yesterday, the trio said they were aware of challenges, which workers are experiencing, urging them to remain peaceful. The Imo Speaker, in his statement signed by his aide, Samuelson Ikenna, commended Imo Assembly workers.
He highlighted some friendly policies the state government has put in place for workers, including “regular payment of salaries; equipping the state civil service for optimal service delivery; promotion of all categories of civil servants in the state; payment of 13th month salary to all civil servants; passing of people-oriented bills and motions by the state Assembly and signing bills, which are currently positively touching on lives of Imo workers, into law by the governor, among others.