Amby Uneze in Owerri
The governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has disclosed that he is leaving behind N42.5 billion for his successor, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, stating that he decided to keep such amount for the in-coming governor so that there won’t be excuses in carrying out activities of the state government.
Okorocha made the disclosure while swearing-in eleven Permanent Secretaries including the new Accountant-General and Permanent Secretary, Donald Igbo, and the new Head of Service, Mrs. Ngozi Ama Eluma, explaining that N8.1 billion of the money was meant for the payment of salaries and capital projects, while N5.2 billion was for pension arrears.
He also stated that N7.6 billion was meant for the renovation of schools, while N21.6 billion was mapped out for rural roads, totaling N42.5 billion, adding that following petitions from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), blocked the money for the payment of arrears of pension and others, at the point of starting the payments.
Addressing the new permanent secretaries, the governor advised them to do their best to reposition the civil service system, protect the integrity of the state and shun corruption, adding that workers in the state Civil Service should put in their best in the service of their fatherland.
He said “remember God in discharging your duties. Discharge your duties without fear or favour and also defend your State when the need arises. I gave this State my best. I will do all I can to support the incoming government. Imo State Government have kept aside a total of N4.5 billion for the in-coming government, and for that reason, I will set up a sub-committee to make sure that the projects they are attached to, come to fruition even when I am out of office or when I will not be available because government is a continuum.
“The breakdown of these funds is as follows: N8.1 billion that came into Imo State coffers from both State and local government, from FAAC, that money has not been expended as not even one naira has been taken away from it and the money is in Zenith Bank and has not been touched. The second money is N5.2 billion in Access Bank, the remnant of the Paris Club fund, not one naira has been removed from it”.
He further stated “The third fund is N7.6 billion, money that came from UBEC. Imo State has paid a total of N3.8 billion counterpart fund and UBEC has brought in their N3.8 billion giving us N7.6 billion. That money is intact and not one naira has been removed from it. The fourth fund is the RAMP fund of $60 million representing N21.6 billion and is also in Imo State Government’s account. It is with First Bank. The money is also here in Imo State and no one naira has been touched”.
According to him, “if you add N8.1 billion and N5.2 billion, N7.6 billion and N21.6 billion, you have a total of N42.6 billion which I will be handing over to Emeka Ihedioha-led government as from May 29, 2019. How are these money meant to be expended? I want to put it succinctly clear. The N8.1 billion naira from FAAC usually will cover the cost of salaries and capital projects. This government is expected to spend this N8.1 billion naira for the payment of salaries for May and also for the payment of other contractual obligations as may be deemed fit.”
The new Permanent Secretaries are; Mr. Donald .N. Igbo, Mrs. Edith Chioma Ekenze, Mr. Elias Amuche Anyanwu, Mr. Justus Oguoma, Rev. Reginald Oguike, Mr. Benjamin Nnamadu, Mrs. Patricia Atuechi Elebiri, Mr. George Ejiogu, Mrs. Patricia Uche Ezeonyeachi, Mrs. Ngozi Bernadine and Mrs. Meg. Obi.