Posted by Ugonne Inyama, Uzoma | 29 October 2018 | 1,075 times
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo said N5billion out of the N12.6 billion Paris Club debt refund will be used for the payment of pension arrears in the state.
Okorocha will also spend N9billion for the payment of salaries, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Owuemeodo.
The shortfall of N1.4billion will be sourced, Okorocha said, without indicating whether it will be borrowed.
Imo is second after Delta in the monthly arrears owed pensioners. While Imo owes 34 months, Delta is ahead with 36 months, according to a report recently by BudgIT.
Okorocha also failed to state how many months of the pension arrears will be cleared with the N5billion. In 2017, the state had estimated its monthly bill at N1.4 billion as it bemoaned the burden of meeting up with its payment.
The Okorocha government had employed several tactics to reduce the burden, by for instance paying 40 per cent of the pension. But the pensioners went to court and the court overruled the government. The government also embarked on the verification of the pensioners, using biometrics. In August last year, the verification led to the arrest of 30 workers in the state Pension Board, caught falsifying cheques and writing cheques for ghost pensioners.
For the state workers, the Okorocha administration said it would pay the October and November salaries simultaneously, with N2billion already set aside for the purpose. (NAN)
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