The executive governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, has apologized to all government workers and retirees in the state for unpaid salaries, pensions and gratuities.
He made the apology while speaking with Imo workers at Real Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Square on Monday, 1st May, promising to clear the debt from 2007 forward.
He explained that bio-data capturing and automation of pensioners have caused the delay, a system pioneered by his government.
Uzodinma said, “Payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities were delayed. This is due to the bio-data capturing automation, which has to be done if the state must grow. For the inconvenience, I apologize to Imo workers.
“It might amaze you to know that we have a debt portfolio of over N169 billion unpaid gratuities and pensions in Imo state way back from 2007.
“Some of these pensioners have died. Now that the payments have started. Those that have died, we would pay to their next of kin.
“I am proud to tell you that Imo state government is enjoying industrial harmony with the workers of Imo state. This is because we have their welfare and happiness as our top priority. We shall continue to do the right thing to make Imo workers happy.
“We have commenced the payment of over N169bn to Imo retirees whose pensions and gratuities have been delayed since 2007. We shall not abandon the senior citizens who served the state meritoriously just like the past governments.
“We are sensitive to the plight of the people and we are doing the right thing to better there lots.”
On health program for workers, the governor said his administration has dedicated over N80m for free medicals and transportation scheme.