Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Imo State governor Senator Hope Uzodinma has vowed to make public the names of the State pensioners who have been defrauding the State billions of naira monthly.
He made the vow on Friday during a meeting with the leadership of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House Owerri.
During the meeting he informed that everything concerning pensions and salary of Imo workers have been automated to make day-to-day running of Government easy.
The governor also announced that he has set in motion the process of integrating Imo Pensioners into the National Contributory Pensions Scheme as a way of enhancing their welfare and good governance of the State.
He reiterated his earlier stand that pensions and salaries are not negotiable, explaining that what has brought the delay in payment of the pensioners is the discovery of overwhelming fraud, discrepancies and irregularities resulting from salary padding, over bloated and double pensions among other sharp practices.
“Some pensioners receive monies above their retirement salaries and some even outrageous monies that are not accounted for.
“Soon names of those who earn above N330m (three hundred and thirty million Naira) per annum as pension will be published for Imo people to know. Uzodinma reveals.
He continued “Government will no more make use of micro finance banks for payments of salaries and pensions because they are no clearing house for BVN holders,” the governor said and reassured that the government has decided to pay pensioners directly.”
Also, the governor revealed the fraud going on in the primary and secondary schools system before NUP and NLC where he disclosed that out of 13,800 primary school teachers, being paraded only 9,000 he said are found to be real .
He however warned that only primary and secondary school teachers who have been verified and confirmed to be employees of government will receive their salaries.
Uzodinma has also advised those playing politics with pensions and salaries to desist from doing so, insisting that his sole objective has remained to dismantle the cabal that milk the state dry through pensions and salaries. “Government has decided to automate all payments to enable it migrate to the contributory pension’s scheme.” Uzodinma said.
In their separate speeches earlier, the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC)Comrade Austin Chilakpu eulogized the efforts so far made by the Governor towards payment of salaries and pensions in the State.
He appealed to the governor to look into the staggering nature of salary pensions and illegal deductions and requested that pensioners pay be made a priority.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Imo State, Dr.Josiah Ugochukwu requested the governor to pay the pensioners harmoniously so that the union leaders will be sure of those that received their pensions and others that were genuinely omitted for proper pension administration.
He apologized, on behalf of their perceived members who carried out peaceful protest against the State Government, describing it as an embarrassment that will never happen again.