By Perpetua Egesimba
The Special Adviser and Liaison Officer to Imo State Government, Lagos and South West, Nze Steve Asimobi has debunked the news making the rounds that the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha was owing workers salaries, adding that no single civil servant was being owed salary in the state.
He made this known when he paid a courtesy visit to Eze Ndigbo Lagos, Eze Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu.
While briefing Imo indigenes made up of the president of Ndi Imo in Lagos, Domferguson Okoli, Ndiezes in Council, Youth Leaders, Professional Body Leaders, Women Leaders, Market Leaders and Students of University of Lagos (UNILAG) of Imo origin, at the Igbo Community Centre, Okota on the progress and achievements of the governor, he said though Imo was not very rich compared to some other states, it still pays workers’ salaries as against the reports in some quarters, adding that the state receives a federal allocation of N3.5 billion to N4 billion every month.
“The only way we are able to pay workers salaries which stands at N3.8 billion every month is through the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of about N200 million or slightly above which we make. So, it is very difficult for any government to survive like that not to talk of paying pension.”
He also explained how the governor was able to tackle insecurity in the state through the Community Governing Council (CGC), in addition to embarking on several developmental projects. He said the governor’s love for education was depicted in 13 Rochas Foundations located in different parts of the country and free education in the state.
According to him, some law students of UNILAG got Bursary from Imo government last year, urging the students to be close to the happenings in the state and write letters to the governor if they need any assistance.
Asimobi said Rochas has gone a step ahead of his predecessors in terms of development of the state.
Explaining why the state has not conducted local government elections, he said it was because of the pending court case arising from the governor’s sacking of the then elected local government chairmen. He explained further that the case went up to the Supreme Court and was dispensed with few months ago, adding that the governor has announced to Imo people and the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission that there would be local government election by September, 2017, stating that Rochas is a man who believes in the rule of law.
Appreciating the governor for sending his SA to sensitise Ndi Imo in Lagos on the developmental projects back home, Eze Nwachukwu stressed that Imo people in Lagos are now well equipped on the developmental strides of the governor and are happy to hear from him.
“We appreciate the governor because he is the first in history to send his SA to come and inform Imo people in Lagos of the happenings in the state. We have now understood that all the things that are being said against the governor are all fallacies,” Nwachukwu, added.
He reiterated that Imo people would want the SA to remain in Lagos to complete the good work he was doing to educate Imo indigenes in Lagos about the developmental activities back in the state, urging the governor to try as much as possible to complete all the remaining infrastructural projects before he leaves office to avoid people calling him bad names.
The Eze said, even though the economic situation in the country was appalling, Imo indigenes in Lagos should try to be law abiding and to also endeavour to visit home to help develop the state as the government cannot do it alone.
President of Ndi Imo in Lagos, Domferguson Okoli who also doubles as President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, also said that the governor was doing well, advising him to harness all the works that he has done so far because they are scattered in different parts of the state.
“Some are completed while some are not, although government is a continuum, I am not expecting him to complete all the projects he initiated before he leaves office but the ones that he knows that his successor will likely not finish, such projects that are very dear to his heart and the people; that will project his legacy when he leaves, should be completed.