Okorocha plans salary cut for magistrates, health workers
IN reaction to claims by some lawyers that he was slashing salaries of magistrates, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has set up a committee for the downward review of salaries of the Magistrates and health workers.
The governor said his administration has spent about N6 billion on salaries of health workers in the past four years and that the trend was eating deep into the states finances.
Briefing journalists, yesterday, in Owerri, Okorocha said salaries of judiciary and health workers would be reviewed because they earned far more than their colleagues in neighbouring states and the civil service in the state.
According to him, while each magistrate in Imo State earns N500,000, those in Akwa Ibom and Anambra states are paid N150,000 and N170,000 respectively, adding, “We are negotiating with the magistrates to cut down their salaries.”
He noted that his administration got about N1.9 billion last month from federal allocation, wondering how he would pay about 35,000 workers, who gulp N4 billion monthly.
He disclosed that a level nine lawyer in the state’s judiciary earns N300,000, which is higher than N57,000 that his counterpart earns in the ministries, noting that he has offered to pay them N200,000 but the lawyers have refused to accept the offer.
He said the state received N283 billion in four years and spent 82 per cent for recurrent expenditure, vowing to reduce the spending burden to enable the state government undertake more social services and boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Noting that the state government would engage about one million youths under Youths Young Farmers Club for Agriculture, he said his administration observed due process in its projects.
Okorocha said the use of Task Force system as against Commissioners has helped to achieve results and reduced costs of governance, stressing, “I have not appointed commissioners yet. And it is because there is no money. We are going to appoint commissioners, but task forces gives better results.”