Imo Government says it has recovered N650 million from the verification of pensioners and local government workers it conducted in the state.
Governor Rochas Okorocha made the revelation in Owerri on Thursday, while explaining the structure of the newly-introduced Community Government Council to stakeholders in Imo.
Mr. Okorocha expressed regrets that the State Government is paying such amount of money to ghost pensioners and local government workers.
The governor said that during the verification, it was discovered that some local government workers were receiving salaries from three council areas.
He cited Isiala Mbano Local Government Area as an example of where the record showed that it had 1400 employees, noting that no fewer than 1000 were found to be ghost workers.
The governor accused local government sub-treasurers of connivance in the fraud and directed the State Security Services (SSS) to investigate and prosecute those found culpable.
Mr. Okorocha said that his administration inherited N8 billion arrears of gratuities, appealing to those concerned to be patient with government as there is a plan to off-set the bill.
The governor also said that there is an urgent need for the State Government to introduce a commercialisation policy to get enough funds to develop the state.
He explained that the state’s monthly allocation from the Federation Account ranges between N2.5 billion and N4.5 billion, and pointed out that the state’s monthly current expenditure stands at N3.921 billion.
He said that over the years, less than 5 per cent of the state with a population of five million people has consistently consumed more than 70 per cent of its resources through salaries.
He said that the situation is wrong and should be redressed.
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