The confusion over whether the state government had paid the local government workers in the state or not has been streamlined as Imo State Government has finally admitted that the Local Government workers are yet to be paid their March salaries.
This is even as the state government attributes the delay to over bloating of the salary figures.
In a press release signed by the Information Commissioner Declan Emelumba and made available to Lead, the State Government regrets the delay in payment of the said salaries adding that the salaries would be paid to the said people after the corrections must have been effected on the bloated figures.
The leadership of the NULGE in the state had in a recent press release demanded the payment of their March salaries to enable them to sustain their families while they stay at home order persists.
The State government, on the other hand, claimed that it had cleared the March salaries to Imo workers.
This however brought about confusion as no one knows who is saying the truth and who is not until, the recent release by information commissioner which admitted that the said march salaries are yet to be paid and gave reasons for the delay while others had received theirs.
On the delay in the payment of March salaries to local government workers the commissioner said it was caused by an unusual bloating of the payroll.
He explained that when the government took over the office in January the Local government allocation was N3.8B from which N1.6B was left after payment of salaries and pensions. Surprisingly in February with the same allocation, only N900M was left after payment of salaries and Pensions. How can this be explained when no new staff has been employed by the local governments, the statement asked
On questionable discrepancies in the wage bill of LGAs, the Commissioner said that it was curious that some local governments with less staff were carrying wage bills higher than those with more staff and asked ” how can Owerri municipal with the highest number of workers be paying N15M as salaries while Ihete Unoma with less staff is paying N56M”, adding that the government was determined to get things right from day one even at the risk of blackmail.
The information commissioner insisted that while the government was determined to pay workers and pensions at the end of the month it will not be blackmailed into doing the wrong thing.
“The governor has made it clear that he will pay salaries and pensions by the end of every month but the payment will be made to only those legitimately entitled to same and not to criminals who present false BVN or false account details in the payroll to reap off the state. Every salary and pension payments must conform with all e- payment requirements and this government will not be blackmailed into doing otherwise ” the Commissioner said.