Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
HOPE has finally come alive for Imo State pensioners as Governor Emeka Ihedioha has promised to pay over 30,000 of them who will scale the ongoing biometric data base for the state pensioners.
The governor who was represented by his Technical Adviser and chairman of the verification exercise, Paschal Madu during a press briefing on Wednesday, said the exercise would receive an accelerated attention after which the payment would commence.
Madu disclosed that the committee has about two weeks to round off but added that not until it has finished it’s extraction of files of the pensioners, capturing and verification.
“Immediately we finished the verification exercise , in two days we would commence payment,” he said.
So far, the committee chairman who said the governor is eager to pay the pensioners their due to save them from the agony they passed through in the previous administration, disclosed that 13,515 pensioners’ files have been treated.
Explaining the essence of the biometric data base, Madu pointed out that the exercise would help in accurate compilation of the beneficiaries, while at same time, closing the door for ghost workers.
He said no file would be left untreated even as he disclosed that the files were picked from civil servants that have served the state from 1976 till date.
With the exercise, tension has been doused by the pensioners in the state who had earlier received a false alarm that their files were being discarded.
Responding shortly after the inspection of the materials, state chairmen of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) and Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Sir Josiah Ugochukwu and Austin Chilakpo respectively, expressed satisfaction with the genuineness on part of the government to the plight of the pensioners in the state.
They also appealed to the pensioners to exercise patience with the government, pointing out that with what they have seen on ground, they are optimistic it would not take long for them to be paid.
“From what we observed today, we are satisfied and better informed of what the government is doing. We commend the governor because he has started and starting of anything is not very easy,” Ugochukwu said.