By Amby Uneze
Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma yesterday swore in four new Commissioners with a charge on them to avoid corruption and serve the people sincerely.
Performing the swearing-in ceremony at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House Owerri, Uzodimma said the ceremony was symbolic in many respects because “oath taking signals readiness to serve with commitment, diligence and honesty”.
Those who were sworn-in as Commissioners were Dr. Doris Nkeiruka Uzoka Anite (Ministry of Finance and Coordinator of Economy); Prof. Boniface Ginikanwa Nwogu (Ministry of Science and Technology); Mr. Uche John Ohia (Ministry of Tourism) and Dr. Bartholomew Chukwunonye Okorochukwu (Ministry of Health).
It was also on a day Uzodimma inaugurated the six- member Board of the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), Owerri.
The governor charged the commissioners to do everything possible to avoid the banana pill of corruption as “there is no window or door to corruption in the Shared Prosperity Government of his administration”.
He explained that the Commissioners were chosen to reinvigorate and fuse in new blood into the Cabinet for the journey ahead.
Furthermore, he reminded the new appointees that “the job is a very serious one” and “they need to be constantly on their toes to justify their commitment in service of Imo State and the confidence reposed in them”.
He admonished them to “serve transparently with accountability and honesty at the back of their mind always,” noting that “the mandate being handed over to them is to serve Imo people with all at their disposal”.
The Governor however reminded both old and new members of the Executive Council that there is no permanent seat or portfolio for any member, “rather performance determines the tenure of a council member and the portfolio he/she bears”.
He reiterated government’s commitment to the welfare of the civil servants and teachers in Imo State, insisting that over 42,000 verified and cleared civil and public servants in the State have been paid their salaries up to date with 10,000 workers discovered to be ghost workers.
Also, he said of the 947 civil servants who are yet to be paid, many of them were found to be receiving double salaries and cannot be paid by the government until they come up to explain what transpired and how they plan to refund such public funds they fraudulently took from the government.
However, the Governor did not mince words to say that while efforts are being made to sustain payment of pensioners salary and gratuities, the government cannot afford to pay gratuities that have accumulated to over N58billion.