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APC's Hope Uzodimma To Pay 13th Month Salary To Imo Workers, Announces Other Packages For Christmas ~Omonaijablog

. . . Swears in 18 new commissioners

For the first time in the history of Imo State Civil Service, workers are to receive 100 per cent of their basic pay as 13th month, courtesy of the generosity of Governor Hope Uzodimma.

Besides the 13th month pay and assurance for the immediate payment of their December salary, the Governor has also promised give the workers Christmas rice through their ministries while efforts are on top gear to elevate deserving civil servants.

Uzodimma made this known to the workers during his interactive session with them at the Ndubuisi Kanu Square Owerri on Monday.

He said despite wrong assumptions from certain quarters, his administration has from inception held workers in high esteem and considered their welfare of utmost priority.

The Governor recalled that the Secretariat was the first place he visited when he assumed office about 23 months ago, on January 29, 2020, where he interfaced with workers on areas of challenges and the way forward.

He told them that investigations into all outstanding payment of salaries and pensions are ongoing and that soon it would be a thing of the past and payments effected

Governor Uzodimma assured that all verified 43,000 workers without issues will never be owed salaries by his government as he does not regard payment of salary as achievement by any governor “because the worker deserves his wage.”

He also promised that promotion issues will be looked into as long as the workers remain committed.

The Governor regretted that most of the workers who have been going about blackmailing his government are those who have issues, some of them criminal, as some workers have been established to be earning salary in two or three or more places.

Although the Governor contemplated calling their names before the army of civil servants at the venue, he later changed his mind and called on the Civil Service Commission to fashion out modalities on how the affected workers will refund to the state government all they have defrauded it for years which is in hundreds of millions of naira.

Uzodimma charged civil servants to remain committed to the service of government and try not to be partisan.

He encouraged them to help him by doing the right thing so that he too could be of help to them. “Your happiness is my happiness, your sadness is my sadness, your hunger is my hunger,” he said, noting that he is a good friend of workers.

Earlier in his address, the Head of Service, Dr. Camilus Iwuagwu, recalled the various ways the administration has improved the workforce and welfare of workers, particularly the automated payroll system, the prompt payment of salaries and pensions, the provision of free mass transit, the civil servants clinic, training of workers on capacity among many other things.

He thanked the governor for granting the request to revisit the genuine cases of workers and pensioners who, as a result of BVN problems, joint account, and other issues that led to omissions resulting are not receiving their salaries or pensions.

“You mandated the committee under the leadership of Civil Service Commission and Local Government Service Commission to verify the claims of those workers and pensioners for payment,” he said.

The new chairman of NLC, Imo state, Rev. Philip Nwansi, commended the governor for being workers-friendly and he expressed confidence that all those with issues of unpaid salaries and pensions will in no distant period have reasons to rejoice.

In another development, the 18 newly sworn-in commissioners in Imo State were on Monday told to see their appointment as a call to duty and service to the people or be thrown out if they resort to doing the opposite.

Governor Uzodimma read what appears to be the Riot Act to the 18 newly sworn-in Commissioners which brings the total number to 28.

Ten Commissioners were retained by Governor Uzodimma when he dissolved his cabinet in June 6, 2021.

Those sworn-in were Commissioner for Environment, Prof. E. J. C. Duru; Dr. Prosper Ohayaya – Health; Prof. Sylvester Okorondudu – Education; Dr. Anthony Mgbeahuruike – Livestock; Barr. Kezie Ogaziechi – Lands and Physical Planning; Barr. Rex  Anunobi –Transport and Lady Love Ineh – Housing.

Others are Hon. Mrs. Rubby Emele – Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Hon. Simeon Ebegbulem – Commerce and Industry; Dr. Okey Anukwuen – Special Duties; Chief Ford Ozurumba – Labour/Productivity; Lady Ann Dozie – Powers/ Water Resources;  Rt. Hon. Goodluck Opiah –Petroluem and Hon. Stanley Obidiegwu – Special Projects. 

Others that made the list include: Dr. Ugorji O. Ugorji –Homeland Security and Vigilante Affairs; Dr. Elias Emedom – Mines and Solid Minerals and Hajia Rabbi Ibrahim – Humanitarian Affairs.

Addressing the new Commissioners after they had taken the oath of office at the New Executive Council Chambers Government House Owerri, the Governor congratulated them for their “well-deserved appointment” and admonished them to hit the ground running and to be proud that they made the list of his Executive Council “having been selected from many recommendations and proposals presented to him.”

Governor Uzodimma reminded them that the oath of office they took is more than a ritual, “rather solemn commitment to serve Imo people by the fear of God,” warning that “the days of appointment being seen as come and eat is over.”

“In my administration appointment is a call to duty and public service.”

He sounded it loud and clear that they have been invited to come and work and make sacrifices to improve the lives of Imo people. “It is a rare opportunity,” he noted.

He told them “to be ready, willing and able to hit the ground running” with their “eyes firmly on the ball.”

According to him, they have been given the opportunity to serve Imo people for posterity and to write their names in gold.

“I took my time to select you people because I wanted the best our state can offer.  I am satisfied today because we have got the best.”

Governor Uzodimma challenged the Commissioners to endeavour to understand the vision and mission statements of his government which is anchored on transformation of Imo State from nothing to something. “This is a task that must be accomplished.”

To achieve the above, he insists that they must first think of honest service to the people of Imo State as a grundnorm.

Governor Uzodimma told the team that their primary responsibility is service and governance and not politicking, the reason they must concentrate on working with him to “Share Prosperity” to Imo people.

He urged them to get the manual that encapsulates the 3-R mantra as it is the signpost and directional book containing all the policies and programmes of the Shared Prosperity Administration of the government.

He acknowledged possible shortfalls in the past two years of his administration but asked the Commissioners to see their appointment as an opportunity to correct such shortfalls or mistakes by bringing their capacity and ingenuity to bear as it behooves on all of us to rise to the challenges.

He reminded them that his government seeks to enforce equity, equality and rule of law knowing full well that they are the ethnics that define good governance.

Highlighting his modest achievements in the past two years, Governor Uzodimma informed that his administration has restored public confidence in governance and that Civil Servants have been made to key into and follow the pace of the Shared Prosperity administration.

He pointed out, for instance, that the payroll fraud has been reduced to the barest minimum, noting that those coming back for Christmas will see the difference between yesterday and now in the areas of education, health, road infrastructure and other critical infrastructure in the State.

Governor Uzodimma reiterated that the most daunting challenge his administration faces so far is insecurity but said “to the glory of God we have overcome. Our state is relatively better now than seven months ago.”

The Governor charged them to bring their creative ingenuity to bear to improve on the State Internally Generated Revenue, insisting that their pragmatic approach must be applied for the State IGR to meet his expectation.

Also, Governor Uzodimma urged them to pay particular attention to Imo youths, saying he has spent a lot of resources to get them engaged. He further reminded them of the need to work hard to take government to the lowest man at the grassroots in Imo State.

To achieve the above, he asked them to work closely with the APC under which umbrella they have been appointed. “You must show interest in what is happening in the party.”

On their individual status as Government appointees, the Governor reminded them that they are now the mirror of the government and as such their conduct must be above board.

He warned them of his administration’s zero tolerance for corruption, noting that any of them found wanting will be shown the exit door.  In the same vein, he enjoined them to remember that his administration will not tolerate in-fighting and that it is expected of every appointee to exhibit 100 per cent loyalty.

He charged them to always be guided by service and love for the state, warning that they are all equal in his cabinet.

Responding on behalf of her colleagues, the Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Hon. Mrs. Anne Dozie thanked the Governor for finding them worthy to serve in his government and promised that they will put in their best to meet his expectations.

On behalf of her colleagues, she assured of their 100 per cent loyalty, service to the government and people of Imo State.

Major highlights of the programme are the elevation of the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to a full-fledged Ministry and the redeployment of the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Barthy Okorochukwu from Ministry of Health to Ministry of Agriculture.

Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof Placid Njoku, Secretary to Government of Imo State, Chief Cosmas Iwu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, top government officials, former Inspector General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro and HRH Eze Thomas Obiefule were among those who witnessed the occasion.

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  1. Paying civil servants 13th month is the right thing to do especially during this period of hyper inflation