The governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has directed that no force should be used on public servants to comply with government’s new policy on agriculture.
The governor said since the policy was popular and also in the overall interest of the public servants and the state, there was no point forcing them to comply.
He, however, commended most of the public servants who had begun to comply with the new directive and added that the “Back to land for agriculture” programme which gave birth to the three-day for office work and two days for farming was aimed at promoting agriculture and boosting the economy of the state and the economy of the individual families of the public servants.
The governor also disclosed that agric loan would to be provided by the state government for the workers and identity cards would be issued to those who engage in active farming in line with the new policy.
He reassured that the whole arrangement would not affect the salaries of workers, rather, at the end of the payment of the June and July salaries which is already in progress, the salaries of Imo workers would begin to be paid between the 20th and 26th of every month.
The governor also said the government was negotiating for fund that would clear all the pension arrears in the state.
In view of the new policy on work-days, the permanent secretaries would as a matter of compulsion have departmental briefings between 7.30am and 8am each day, while the list of all the civil servants in the state would be published, with about 3,000 civil servants also to be recruited to replace those who had retired over the years.
The governor noted that he had expected the labour leadership in the state to support the agric programme and encourage public servants to make adequate use of the opportunity offered by the new policy to improve greatly on their welfare, instead of sounding as if there was something to quarrel about over the policy.
The governor expressed the hope that public servants who sincerely engage in farming in line with the new policy of the government would not regret doing so.