THE governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, says it has approved promotions and free medical services for the civil servants of the state.
Uzodinma disclosed this through a statement issued by his chief press secretary, Oguwike Nwachukwu, on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.
According to Nwachukwu, the approval was made during a town hall meeting with top management staff of the state workforce in Owerri, which held on Tuesday, October 4.
The statement read, “Governor Hope Uzodimma has accepted to bear the cost of medical treatment of all workers in Imo State as part of government’s efforts to ensure that the civil servants are positioned to do their work well.
“That is not all. The Governor has also assured civil servants who are due for promotion to brace up for it as his government will soon unveil their names.”
The governor also stressed that the shortfall in the number of teachers required by the Imo State Education Management Board (SEMB) would soon be addressed.
The statement noted that the free social health insurance scheme for more than the 47,000 civil servants in the state and the plan to elevate those of them due for promotion were the high points of the meeting.
It further read, “The meeting, which was at the instance of the Governor, involved Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Directors of Ministries, Heads of Parastatals, Chairman of Imo State Internal Revenue Service and the General Manager of Imo Data Centre.
“It was also an opportunity for the Governor and the heads of ministries, departments and agencies of government to review complaints by workers about non-payment of salary and how to foster a better working relationship between workers and political appointees in the interest of the State.
“When the Governor was informed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Success Prosper-Ohayagha, that it will cost the State Government about N500 million annually to pay for medical services for all verified workers in Imo State under the Social Health Insurance Scheme, Governor Uzodimma told him to consider it done, a promise that attracted instant thunderous jubilation at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Chambers, venue of the meeting.”
According to the statement, the governor had directed the Commissioner for Health and the General Manager of the Imo State Social Health Insurance Scheme to immediately commence the process of getting all verified workers into the net for the free medical scheme.
“By the free medical service, verified workers in Imo – both at the State and Local Government – are to get treated of any kind of ailment in the government or designated private hospitals, except those not listed in the Scheme,” it said.
Uzodinma said the economic realities of the moment and the need to bring back the dignity of labour in the state’s civil servants made it compelling that their welfare be taken a notch higher.
He revealed that some civil servants had continued to compromise the Data Centre payroll system by earning pay either as retired, absconded, ghost or deceased workers.
He said while civil servants without discrepancies were paid regularly, records from the Data Centre showed that 1,593 persons received salaries as retired, absconded, deceased or even ghost workers, with 446 of them receiving double salaries with different bank accounts.
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M