Fact-checks! Imo govt owes workers, pensioners above 5 months

Hope Uzodinma
  • Handover pay-rolling system to consultants 

Contrary to the claims by the appointee of Imo State government that all outstanding salaries of workers as well as pensioners in Imo State have been cleared, Edge Express gathered that many civil servants and pensioners are still owed up to six months.
Recall that there have been claims and counterclaims on the payment and non-payment of salaries from civil servants and Imo government alike. A situation that has led to frequent protests and outcry.
One of the affected civil servants who preferred anonymous told Edge Express, “unfortunately, we are suffering like this. For the past six months, many of us have not received our salaries. The truth is that our suffering has reached a breaking point. We have been filling forms and sending our payment details to the Government House yet to no avail.
“What the governor does not understand is that the real fraud has just started. How do you reconcile the fact that many of us have not received salaries for months while some are been over-paid? Those over-paid were officially informed to return the money. It’s ridiculous what is happening in the payment system.”
It was gathered that before now, it was civil servants at the Accounts Department spearheaded by the Directors of Accounts that do the payroll in the ministry and there are lay down rules of payrolling. For instance, when a civil servant is posted to another ministry, his posting letter and Last Payment Certificate (LPC) are moved to his new ministry. This according to civil servants enables the new place queue in his name in the next payment system and nominal roll. But the process is not followed any longer.
A director in one of the ministries told Edged Express, “as I speak with you, civil servants at the Account Departments that do payroll in the ministries have been rendered redundant. All the pay-rolling they have done over six months has never been used for payment. Civil servants posted out of Government House are still receiving salaries as Government House staff while those posted to Government House as I speak many have not received their salaries.
“The pay-rolling system has been taken over by consultants who don’t understand the civil service pay-rolling system. They said they want to eliminate fraud, but I want to tell you with all honesty that they have created more problems for the governor than expected.
“If the consultants are competent why are some civil servants overpaid while many have not yet received a salary in the past six months. The consultants have only succeeded in escalating the fraud Governor Uzodimma said he’s eliminating.”
There are reports that in the Ministry of Environment, Information, as well as Education, to mention but a few, many workers are owed up to six months and it’s not certain if they will be paid anytime soon as they have already been labeled ghost workers by government consultants.
In Ngor Okpala Local Government Area, for instance, it was reported that primary and secondary school teachers have not received their salaries since February 2020 to date.
There is also a case of staggered salary payments, thereby making it difficult to know the truth about salary payment in Imo. Many, however, believed it was deliberately done to calm down protesting workers.

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