The Catholic Arch Bishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical province, Dr. A. J. V Obinna has commended governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State for keeping his promise to clear the areas of pensions and salaries delayed by the automation process of the state’s payroll system, even as the governor vowed not to disappoint either the church or Imo people in the discharge of his duties
Both of them spoke yesterday at the Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri, Imo State, during a Thanksgiving service to mark the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence
Arch Bishop Obinna’s comments came in his homily where he disclosed that some pensioners called him to tell him that they have received six months areas of their pension just as some government workers confirmed the same thing to him, adding that it was a confirmation that the governor was keeping to his promise of clearing delayed outstanding pension and salaries caused by the automation of the payroll system.
But he blamed some civil servants who he said he learned were responsible for the fraud in the payroll system ” I learned that some civil servants, the accounts people, are those penetrating fraud in the payroll. I advice them to repent and turn a new leaf”
He urged governor Uzodinma to stand up to the challenge and ensure that the right thing is done and that the best interest of Imo people is always be protected, adding, “We should pray for this governor because I think he means well”.
The Catholic Bishop further said he was happy to hear that every issue about salaries and pensions would be permanently cleared soon and urged the governor to ensure that that was done.
In his remarks after the church service, governor Uzodinma assured the Bishop that he has come to serve the Imo people and that he will do his very best to right the wrongs of the past.
The governor added ” As a Catholic I can assure you that I will not disappoint the church or Imo people. I know that if I do well, it will rub off well on the church and if I don’t do well the church will bear part catholic of the blame, after all, I am a product of the church. So I can neither disappoint the church nor Imo people”
On the payroll fraud and delay in the payment of salaries and pensions of some people, the governor assured that the automation process has been completed and that Imo State now has one of the best datacenters in the country.
He admitted there were still a few pensioners and workers whose pension or salaries have not been paid because of wrong documentation and advised such people to go to the office of the head of service where they could log into the data center and resolve any outstanding documentation issue.
“Let anyone who has not been paid go there and the matter will be resolved and no matter the outstanding payment, it will be paid immediately. Besides, even if the person has been earning a double salary or pension, let him not be afraid of being arrested because in the spirit of independence anniversary I am granting them amnesty” the governor declared.