Rising from a crucial meeting with Heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies in Imo State, Governor Hope Uzodimma expressed dismay and surprise over the level of rot and fraud discovered in the Civil and Public Service sector and vowed to end the abnormally immediately.
Addressing newsmen shortly after a meeting of Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Parastatals in the state, the Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba stated that huge revenue has been lost by the State Government due to double entries in salary payroll, a situation he stressed people used fictitious names and additional Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to short-change the government.
Emelumba further stated that about 1000 ghost workers have been linked to the scam with some earning salaries and pensions at the same time.
The Commissioner warned that it will no longer be business as usual for Head of Departments, Directors of Accounts and other Heads of Agencies that pay a deaf ear to the misdeeds, adding that Governor Uzodimma has charged all Departmental Heads to put their house in order and come up with realistic payroll figures and a new e-payment compliant organogram.
Emelumba further explained that the new organogram would henceforth entail a new Identity Card Management system and that employment history with pay points and payslips will be provided every month as is the custom in every responsible government system.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Finance, Chuk Chukemeka, stated that about one billion Naira (N1bn) had been lost as a result of salary to ghost workers in the state. He stressed that the heads of ministries and parastatals must change their dance tone in order to actualize the Reconstruction Rehabilitation and Recovery (‘3R’) mantra of Governor Uzodimma’s administration to reposition the state.
Chukemeka further stated that Governor Uzodimma has charged the revenue points of the state to raise the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base of the government, as that is the only way to realize the lofty goals of the present administration.
He reiterated that the Single Treasury Account (TSA) system must be fully implemented so as to plug all revenue leakages.