As Governor Rochas Okorocha has announced that the State Government has concluded plan to pay off all the pension arrears without further delay and explained that the delay in the payment of pensions was as a result of the astonishing rise in what the state was paying as pension.
Governor Okorocha gave the hint while commissioning 500 pieces of urban taxi cabs on Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Owerri explaining that by 2011 when he came in as governor, the state was paying N280 million at the end of each month as pensions but all of a sudden, the amount skyrocketed to N1.4 billion which has made it somewhat difficult for the state to pay considering also the salary burden of the state and what comes in as allocations.
He however remarked that part of the reason for the rise could be that most of the workers who returned from the old East Central State and other places to the state when the state was created in1976 must have retired, vis-a-vis the problems of ghost pensioners and padding, assuring that his government has decided to take the bull by the horn by paying off the pensions.
His words, “the state has no problem with the payment of workers in the state. We have paid salary upto the month of October. Any worker in the state who claims that he or she has not been paid upto October or that he or she is owed salary is a thief. Our only challenge now is the issue of pension. And we have resolved to deal with the issue once and for all. I do not want to owe these senior citizens in my time. We are going to get them paid”.
Commissioning the taxi cabs, Governor Okorocha said the government has embarked on the Imo taxi scheme in the spirit of job creation and urban renewal policies of the administration, and stated that the scheme would offer Imo youths jobs both directly and indirectly.
According to the governor, with the level of development in the state, it would not be good for visitors or tourists to the state to be moving in old cabs, and that with the beautification of Owerri, the State Capital and the urban renewal initiatives of the administration, the government decided to procure the taxi cabs, starting with the 500 pieces available for commissioning.
He said more five hundred pieces will soon be procured, and also recalled that the government had recently commissioned some buses to for Owerri the State capital and environs, all in line with the desire of the government to develop the state.
He asked for the cooperation and understanding of Imo people.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
1. The 500 pieces of Urban Taxi Cabs commissioned on Thursday, November 10, 2016 by Governor Rochas Okorocha in Owerri, in line with the Urban renewal policy of the State Government.
2. Governor Rochas Okorocha cutting the tap, to commission the 500 pieces of Urban Taxi Cabs, on Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Owerri, in line with the Urban Renewal policy of the State Government.