Imo workers resume after warning strike



GOVERNMENT offices came back to life yesterday in Imo State as workers resumed duty after their five-day warning strike, which they observed last week to press for their salary arrears running for two to nine months, and 19 months pensions for retired primary school teachers.

In Abia State, ghost workers in the civil service pay-roll were dealt a huge blow with the recent staff verification exercise, which now recovers for the government about N160 million monthly.

The Guardian observed that the state secretariat along Port Harcourt Road, the Board of Internal Revenue on Okigwe Road, Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) on Akanchawa Road, the Accountant General’s Office, the Government House, as well as state-owned schools and health institutions, among others, were open for business.

The organised labour, which comprises the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), among others, had endorsed the strike from July 27 through 31.

Meanwhile, Governor Rochas Okorocha, in a statement at the weekend in Owerri by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, noted the suspension of the strike and the issues that led to it.

However, he did not see why such issues should have prompted the industrial action, as he argued that the salaries arrears were because the state had not yet received the bailout funds.

Abia getting free from ghost workers Commenting on the discovery, the Head of Service (HOS), Dr. Vivian Uma, enjoined public servants in the state to identify with the government and help fish out the remaining ghost workers, noting that crooks must be colluding with the pay-rollers, pay-roll staff and workers in the accounts departments.

Uma equally tasked the pay-rollers and accounts personnel on sincerity to their duties, urging them to resist being lured into such criminal acts through which government funds leak away.

According to him, if these nefarious acts are not addressed, they would continue to delay payment of salaries and further drain government resources. He assured indigenes that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu would maintain his commitment to the welfare of not only the public workers but as well every Abian.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor, Ude Oko Chukwu, says that electoral victories could only be sustained if persons voted into offices reciprocate to those who made their emergence possible.

To that end, he counseled those in office not to distant themselves from those who gave them. The former speaker of the Assembly attributed his success during that period to the cooperation, support, confidence, love and trust of his fellow lawmakers.

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