The Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical province, Dr. A. J. V Obinna, has commended Imo Governor, Hope Uzodimma, for keeping his promise to clear arrears of pensions and salaries delayed by the automation process of the state’s payroll system , even as the governor vowed not to disappoint either the church or Imo people in the discharge of his duties
Both of them spoke yesterday at the Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri, Imo State, during a thanksgiving service to mark the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence
Archbishop Obinna’s comments came in his homily where he disclosed that some pensioners called to tell him that they had received six months arrears of their pension, adding that it was a confirmation that the governor was keeping to his promise of clearing delayed outstanding pension and salaries caused by the automation of the payroll system.
But he blamed some civil servants who he claimed were responsible for the fraud in the payroll system.
“I learnt that some civil servants, the accounts people, are those penetrating fraud in the payroll. I advice them to repent and turn a new leaf.”
He urged Governor Uzodimma to stand up to the challenge and ensure that the right thing is done and that the best interest of Imo people is always be protected, adding, “ we should pray for this governor because I think he means well.”
Governor Uzodimma assured the cleric that he had come to serve Imo people and would do his best to right the wrongs of the past.
“As a Catholic, I can assure you that I will not disappoint the church or Imo people. I am aware that if I do well, it will rub off well on the church and if i don’t do well the church will bear part of the blame, after all I am a product of the church. So I can neither disappoint the church nor Imo people.”
On the payroll fraud and delay in payment of salaries and pensions of some people, the governor assured that the automation process had been completed and the state now had one of the best data centres in the country.
He admitted there were still a few pensioners and workers whose pension or salaries have not been paid because of wrong documentation and advised such people to go to the office of the head of service where they could log into the data centre and resolve any outstanding documentation issue.