Imo Civil Service Set For Reforms

Following the much touted spate of corruption, inefficiency and lethargy that have beset workers at the Imo State civil service, the state government has assured of its resolve to embark on a massive reform exercise. 
Those to be largely affected are the entire agencies of the state, especially the health and utility sectors.
 Rochas Okorocha, its governor drew attention to the mind-boggling corrupt practices in the state’s civil service and insisted that he would slice through the service with a long knife.
The governor also disclosed that many civil servants in the state were benefitting unduly from different entrenched forms of graft, which he noted had resulted in one person drawing salaries and wages seven times in a month under seven different names.
Briefing journalists at the Government House, Owerri, after returning from Turkey, where he had travelled with a 100-man delegation on a business and investment promotion drive, Okorocha vowed to block all revenue leakages and declare an all-out war on ghost workers and phony pensioners in the state.
He disclosed that based on recent verifications his administration carried out, he was shocked to discover that non-civil servants were collecting more salaries and pensions than real civil servants and pensioners.
“After the ongoing verification, permanent secretaries, directors and accountants found culpable would be summarily dismissed, and made to refund all the money deemed to have been embezzled,” Okorocha alerted.
He stated that the financial sleaze in ministries and parastatals was responsible for the state spending 90 percent of its monthly allocations on salaries of workers and political appointees, who he said only constitute about one percent of the state’s population.
The governor also maintained his stance on privatization of some of the state government-owned parastatals and agencies.
Okorocha said: “I don’t have any reason to be paying N2 billion annually to staff of Imo Water Board, and yet, no single person in Owerri or Imo State, drink water from there.”
Continuing, the governor said, “Tell me why I should continue to pay N4.8 billion annually to Imo Hospitals Management Board, and yet, nobody enjoys any service from the numerous hospitals in the state.
“If I use N2 billion, I’ll give every household in Owerri metropolis borehole; while N4.8 billion will be enough to take care of the health of the generality of the people in the state for one year.
“This is the same scenario with other government parastatals and agencies in the state,” Okorocha stressed.
Meanwhile, the governor has disclosed that his administration was carefully reviewing the activities of companies that were granted concessions to manage Adapalm [Imo Palm Plantation – IPPa] and Imo Transport Company (ITC), to see if they would be allowed to continue to enjoy the concessions; as he lamented that the concessioning of the companies had not really yielded the needed results.
Okorocha however assured that he was determined to realize a new policy mantra of ‘one community, one factory project,’ for which reason he said he took some industrialists from the state to Turkey for them to key into the vision.
He thus assured investors and business operators in the state that his government would do the needful by providing necessary infrastructure that would make their businesses succeed.
To underscore this claim, Okorocha disclosed that the sum of N5 billion had been deposited with the Imo State Microfinance Bank for communities in the state to access loans at 7% interest rate per community to set up a factory, in an industrialization policy meant for each community in the state must have a cottage industry where it would produce some products and employ some youths.
He informed that the state government would fund the factories, while the communities would manage them as a first phase of job creation policy.

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