The outgoing governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has disclosed that he is keeping a total of N42.5billion for his successor, Emeka Ihedioha.
He noted that he decided to keep such amount for the in-coming governor to avoid excuses in running his government.
He disclosed this while swearing-in 11 permanent secretaries including the new accountant-general who will also double as a permanent secretary, Deacon Donald Igbo, and a new Head of Service, Mrs. Ngozi Ama Eluma.
Governor 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.
He also stated that N7.6billion was meant for the renovation of schools, while N21.6billion was mapped out for rural roads, totaling N42.5billion.
Although he claimed that following petitions from People’s Democratic Party (PDP)chieftains, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC), blocked the money for the payment of arrears of pensioners and others, at the point of starting the payments.
Addressing the new permanent secretaries, the governor advised them to do their best to reposition the civil service system, protect the integrity of the state and shun corruption, adding that workers in the state civil service should put in their best in the service of their fatherland.
“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 has 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.
“The breakdown of the fund is as follows: N8.1b that came into Imo State pulse 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 Plc and has not been touched. The second is N5.2bn in Access Bank Plc, the remnant of the Paris Club fund; not one naira has been removed from it.”
He further stated that “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 gives 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 Plc. The money is also here in Imo State and no one naira has been touched,” Governor Okorocha assured.
According to him “if you total N8.1b plus N5.2b, N7.6b and N21.6b, you have N42.6b which I will be handing over to the Emeka Ihedioha-led government as from May 29, 2019. “How are these money meant to be expended? I want to put it succinctly clear. The N8.1b from FAAC usually will cover the cost of salaries and capital projects. This government is expected to spend this N8.1b for the payment of salaries for May and also for the payment of other contractual obligations as it may deem fit.”
The new Permanent Secretaries are: 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.