Governor Hope Uzodinma of lmo State, at the weekend, bemoaned the frustration he underwent before subduing pension scammers who were defrauding the government millions of naira monthly.
He said apart from eight persons collecting N330 million annually, he discovered that more than 1,000 persons, who had attained 104 years and above, were still being listed as pensioners when in actual fact, they were dead.
The governor, who spoke during a meeting with the leaders of organised labour in the state, explained that it was never his intention to owe any pensioner, but for the fraudulent activities of a few.
Uzodinma disclosed that some people, who retired in 1984, were being allocated more than N100,000 as pension whereas no civil servant earned such a huge some 35 years ago.
He said the most frustrating was that the head of service claimed he did not have any record of pensioners in the state while there was no one to handover to his government such a comprehensive data.
According to the governor, after blindly paying for three months, he decided to carry out a forensic audit to determine those who are genuinely pensioners.
He said by automating the pension data base, it emerged that a cabal was fleecing the state of millions of naira monthly.
The governor said the fraud was so endemic and systemic that he took a ‘tortuous route’ to rout the perpetrators.
He was happy that with the conclusion of the exercise, genuine pensioners will not only receive their pensions as at when due but will have easy access to the database.