By; VICTOR DURUAMAKU, Owerri
In less than 24 hours to leave office, Imo State outgoing Governor,
Rochas Okorocha on Monday swore in new eleven (11) permanent
secretaries, a new Accountant-General, AG, and Head of Service, HOS,
to beat the investigation of the Economic and Financial Crime
A cross section of Imo people who witnessed the swearing in of the new
appointees believed that the outgone governor made the new appointment
in a short period of his tenure, to enable him to block all loopholes
that would have been available for the EFCC to track him.
However, Okorocha also disclosed that he left a whopping N42.5billion
for his successor Chief Emeka Ihedioha, to enable him commence action
immediately on assumption of office without the usual excuse of dearth
of funds for takeoff.
Those sworn in as new permanent secretaries include; Mr. Donald .N.
Igbo, Mrs. Edith Chioma Ekenze, Mr. Elias Amuche Anyanwu, Mr. Justus
Oguoma, Rev. Reginald Oguike, Mr. Benjamin Nnamadu, Mrs. Patricia
Atuechi Elebiri, Engr. George Ejiogu, Mrs. Patricia Uche Ezeonyeachi,
Mrs. Ngozi Bernadine and Mrs. Meg. Obi.
The former governor also swore in the new Accountant-General and
Permanent Secretary, Deacon Donald Igbo, and the new Head of Service
Mrs. Ngozi Ama Eluma.
Addressing the new Permanent Secretaries, the outgone governor advised
them to do their best to reposition the Civil Service system, protect
the integrity of the State and shun corruption, urging the workers to
put in their best in the service of their fatherland.
His words, “Remember God in discharging your duties. Discharge your
duties without fear or favour and also defend your State when the need
arises. I gave this State my best. I will do all I can to support the
incoming government. Imo State Government have kept aside a total of
N42.5b for the in-coming government, and for that reason, I will set
up a sub-committee to make sure that the projects they are attached
to, come to fruition even when I am out of office or when I will not
be available because government is a continuum”.
He continued “The breakdown of these funds are as follows: N8.1b that
came into Imo State offers from both State and LG, from FAAC, that
money has not been expended as not even one Naira has been taken away
from it and the money is in Zenith Bank and has not been touched. The
second money is N5.2bn in Access Bank, the reminant of the Paris Club
fund, not one naira has been removed from it”.
Okorocha explained that N8.1billion of the money was meant for the
payment of salaries and capital projects, while N5.2billion was for
pension arrears while N7.6billion was meant for the renovation of
schools, while N21.6billion was mapped out for rural roads, totaling
According to him, series of petitions from the PDP chieftains made the
Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to block the money for
the payment of arrears of pension and others, at the very point of
commencement of payment of the debts.
He added, “The third fund is N7.6b, money that came from UBEC. Imo
State has paid a total of N3.8b counterpart fund and UBEC has brought
in their N3.8b. That gave us N7.6b. That money is intact and not one
naira has been removed from it. The fourth fund is the RAMP fund of
$60m representing N21.6b and is also in Imo State Government’s
account. It is with First Bank. The money is also here in Imo State
and no one naira has been touched”.
“How are these money meant to be expended? I want to put it succinctly
clear. The N8.1b naira from FAAC usually will cover the cost of
salaries and capital projects. This government is expected to spend
this N8.1b naira for the payment of salaries for May and also for the
payment of other Contractual obligations as may be deemed fit.”