If the news that the Imo state government is set to confiscate and recover all properties acquired by those allegedly behind payroll fraud in the state’s civil service, is anything to go by, then Imo people will believe that the “Recovery, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation programme of governor Hope Uzodimma is on course.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, had on a Radio Programme, assured that the government will prosecute all those behind the payroll fraud in the state in addition to recovering the properties they acquired with money they fleeced from the public treasury through fraudulent manipulation of the payroll.
The Commissioner equally made an eye boggling disclosure that only eight Pensioners have been earning a whooping sum of N330 million annually as pension. It is stating the obvious that the revelations of defrauding Imo people by a few selfish individuals that begged to be employed in the civil service, is not only nauseating but provoking to well meaning people of the state.
For a group of people exploiting the inadequacies in the civil service to defraud the state and made mince meat of any genuine efforts by successive administrations to offset the arrears of pensioners is, mildly put, obnoxious.
This is why we join other well meaning Imo people to demand that governor Uzodimma should go the whole hog in unearthing those behind this heinous crimes, and prosecute them. Not only that, other accomplices like the banks must be brought to account for their deeds, because it takes two to tango.
The governor must go further in disclosing the identities of these fraudsters and their accomplices to serve as a deterant to others. It is not enough coming on air to allege that these crimes exist, but concrete evidence in form of exposing those involved will appease the people of Imo State.
The governor should be rest assured that Imo people are solidly behind him in this task of cleansing the Aegean stable in the state civil service.
The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and other labour unions must assist the government in this effort to reposition the state’s workforce.
Days are gone when some sacred cows will hold the state to ransom in the guise of protecting fraudulent workers. This is our take.