Okorocha approves N2b agric empowerment loan scheme for security network personnel

Rochas Okorocha

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has approved the sum of N2 billion loans for disbursement to the officers and men of the state owned security outfit, Imo Community Watch (ICW).

Okorocha, who announced it while addressing the officials at the Heroes’ Square, Owerri, commended the security men for the feat they achieved in stemming insecurity in some volatile areas in the state, including the erstwhile militants in the oil bearing Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Local Councils of the state.

He said the N2 billion approved would be disbursed to the security personnel for the agro programme of the Anchor Borrower’s for rice production out of the N9 billion approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for the programme.

Okorocha said before he became governor, Imo was notorious for kidnapping, armed robbery and other heinous crimes.However, he noted that five years after his stewardship in the state, Imo has emerged as one of the safest states in the country, saluting the Police, Army, Civil Defence, DSS and the State owned Security Outfits like the ICW for their efforts in ridding Imo of kidnapping and other crimes.

The governor said he convened the meeting to kick-start the reorganisation of the state security outfit to become people-oriented in preparatory to his administration’s readiness to hand over to the next regime in 2019.

He advised that younger officials of the security outfit be engaged and fixed in the appropriate areas.It would be recalled that scores of Imo retirees recently scuttled economic and social activities in many nooks and crannies in Owerri capital city of Imo State.

Led by the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Gideon Ezeji, flanked by other chairmen of affiliate associations affected, the retirees rested at the famous central Okigwe Road Roundabout (leading to the entrance to the Government House, Owerri), between 8am and 2pm, blocking the four quadrangle roads, causing human and vehicular traffic gridlock.

Motorists and commuters found it hectic to get to their various destinations.Ezeji, said they were protesting the decision of the state government to pay 100 per cent pensions to retirees from 01-06; while those from level 07- 17 were proposed to be paid 40 per cent. Gratuities, he regretted were yet to be paid to retirees since 1998

He regretted that the retirees of the then Alvan Ikoku College of Education (AICE) were owed 77 months; retired Primary school teachers, 37 months; secondary school retirees, 23 months; retired civil servants and Permanent Secretaries, 23 months; Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), retirees, 44 months, among others.

In his reaction, Okorocha urged the retirees to feel for him since the economic recession was affecting the state. He recalled that total number of retirees in Imo were 30,000.

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Rochas Okorocha
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