Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, has set in motion the process of integrating Imo pensioners into the National Contributory Pensions Scheme as a way of enhancing good governance.
Governor Uzodimma gave this indication on Friday in a meeting with the leadership of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Imo State at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Owerri.
During the meeting, Uzodimma said everything concerning pensions and salary of Imo workers had been automated to make the day-to-day running of government easy.
He reiterated his earlier stand that pensions and salaries were not negotiable, insisting that what has brought the delay in payment was the discovery of overwhelming fraud, discrepancies and irregularities resulting from salary padding, over–bloated and double pensions, among other sharp practices, resulting in some pensioners receiving monies above their retirement salaries and some even outrageous monies that are not accounted for.
Expressing bitterness over the development, the governor said the names of those who earn pensions of above N330 million per annum would be published for Imo people to know.
“Government will no more make use of microfinance banks for payments of salaries and pensions because they are no clearinghouse for BVN holders,” the governor said, reassuring that the government has decided to pay pensioners directly.
By the discoveries as presented to the leadership of pensioners and NLC chairman who was in attendance, the governor informed that out of 13,800 primary school teachers, only 9,000 are found to be real and that only primary and secondary school teachers who have been verified and confirmed to be employees of government would receive their salaries.
He advised those playing politics with pensions and salaries to desist from doing so as his sole objective has remained to dismantle the cabal that milk the state dry through pensions and salaries.
“Government has decided to automate all payments to enable it to migrate to the contributory pension scheme,” he said.
In his presentation earlier, Austin Chilakpu, state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, appealed to the governor to look into the staggering nature of salary pensions and illegal deductions and requested that pensioners’ pay be made a priority.
Josiah B. Ugochukwu, chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Imo State, requested the governor to pay the pensioners harmoniously so that the leaders would be sure of those that received their pensions and others that were genuinely omitted for proper pension administration.