Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has denied claims in some national newspapers that the state government is owing workers of the state 11 months salary arrears.
In a statement issued yesterday in Owerri in reaction to the publications, chief press secretary to the governor, Sam Onwuemeodo expressed regret over the report which made front page in all the dailies that published it.
He stated that the media reports were the complete opposite of the true position on the issue of workers’ salary in the state, pointing out that the government totally refutes the claims and stands to be contradicted.
“The truth is that Imo State government does not owe the civil servants or the teachers who constitute the government workers in the state 11 months salary arrears, and not even two months salary arrears. We are making this claim to be contradicted with verifiable fact.
“The Imo State government only owes its civil servants the month of May salary; ditto the teachers in the state. And the payment for that month is at the verge of being made.
“In the case of parastatals, the government has equally been living up to expectations with regard to payment of their salaries except few of them where the government’s verification panels discovered irritating padding of salaries for non-existent staff and where high-profile corruption was uncovered.
“And the government had for the umpteenth time said it would only pay those in the affected parastatals when the issues in question must have been rectified.”
While accusing the opposition of dishing out such false information to the media to tarnish the image of the government, Onwuemeodo challenged those behind the report or the newspapers to come out and fault government’s claims or rebuttal.
“We would like to be faulted on our claim that we are owing the civil servants only the month of May salary and the same development with the teachers. These are the workers in the state we believe the NLC source quoted in the reports must have talked about,” he continued.
The CPS, however, added: “If the newspapers that wrote the story on the claimed debt of eleven months salary arrears owed the civil servants and teachers in the state discover at the end of the day that we are right in our claims contrary to the reports under reference, we expect that as reputable and widely read tabloids, they would retract the report at least for the sake of the hard-earned reputation of the Rescue Mission government in the state.”

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