IMO STATE: On the brink of a total financial collapse – Dr.Kelechi C. Okpalake

For any rural state in Nigeria, development is a matter of funds availability. Eighty percent (80) of the rural state in Nigeria are at least Ninety five (95) percent depend on allocation from the Federation. This is why it is absolutely imperative that a proper and professional management of funds of these states is the only key to their development.

 

Due to the fact that over ninety five percent of Imo State income comes from allocation, only prudent financial management of the state’s income may avert the dreaded retrenchment of the state’s work force. The last time retrenchment of the state’s work force was undertaken in Imo state was back during the military Era. Since the advent of the current political dispensation which now stands at 13 years, no known retrenchment has been done done officially but serious and far reaching retrenchment has already taken place under the current administration.

 

The beneficiaries of Ohakim’s Ten thousand youth job program who were summarily sacked by this administration is nothing but politically instigated retrenchmen.

Six thousand street sweepers of Owerri, the Capital City of Imo state, who is another evidence of politically instigate vendetta retrenchment by this administration. In addition, the over ten thousand IRROMA employees across the 27 local governments of IMO state who unceremoniously were sacked without formal announcement is also another evidence of politically motivated vendetta retrenchment of Imo work force. Even Entraco work force across the entire 27 local governments of the state have all lost due to politically motivated vendetta mission of this administration.

 

When you add up the sum total of Imo work force that have lost their employment since this administration, the number is fiercely enchroaching the 100,000 mark. The dissolution of statutorily tenured state boards and commissions by the or’s maiden broadcast on June 6, 2011 also created quite a bit of victims in the retrenchment war unleashed on Imo work force like an appetizer compared to the impeding retrenchment that l follow because while these retrenchments were purely politically Ted, the impeding retrenchments will be based on necessity due to the states inability to pay salaries occasioned unprofessional management of the states financial resources.

 

IMO state government may be completely bankrupt and unable to pay civil servants and her other work force. The state’s financial resources have been over stretched to a breaking point by the personal policies of the Governor. The vendetta mission unleashed on the state’s work force has led to over goo lawsuit that would come to a head between now and two to three years from now.

First and foremost, the July 5, judgement of court of Appeals Owerri, guarantees the 305 wards councillors and 27 chairmen their unpaid salaries of over sixteen months and counting salaries of Government political officials in Nigeria is set by FAAC and the last ch salary of Councillors by FAAC stands at about 305, 000 Naira per month for a councillors. Using these figures to compute the judgement debt owed to councillors and chairmen means that Imo state now have added a debt burden of billions of Naira owed to elected members of local councils in the state.

 

When you add the judgement debt owed to the 27 local councillors and chairmen to the ten thousand job beneficiaries, couple with the salaries of the members of the illegally dissolved statutory boards and commissions, You will end up with a very conservative estimate of close to 50billion Naira impending judgement debt. No rural state in Nigeria dependent for over ninety five percent of its revenue on cation from thefederation can withstand such a debt burden of the state does. It stops there.

 

Rather the above judgment debts are only the surface of the debt imposed on IMO state by the executive lawlessness of this administration. The real crunching and deliberating debt comes from the estimated 800 billion Naira due processless road contracts awarded within 12 months of this administration. Most of these contractors may have abandoned their road projects but they still have their contract documents which are binding legal documents on Imo state. A construction valuation expect , has placed the value of the 320 gates under construction in the capital city of Owerri at a one tween 4.5 to 7.5 billion Naira. These gates are not income generating investments but purely a drain on IMO state resources. Coupled with the 800 billion naira d contracts, is also the 200 billion naira line of credit extended to the state government by Diamond Bank.

The irony of the 800 billion naira contract by the state government is that not one single road project by this administration has been completed. The question is how can IMO state whose combined state and local government joint allocation hovers any where between 5–7 billion depending on the amount shared by the Federation fund , an 800 billion Naira debt from road contracts when the entire federal government budgeted amount for projects in the 2012 budget is 145 billion Naira. Does IMO star, a federating unit with less than 500 in internally generated revenue have the necessary financial muscle to get into an 800 billion Naira roads project within a 12 month period?

The sal to pass a conventional 12 months budget by the Imo House of Assembly instead of the administration’s so called Four year rolling infrastructure budget may be the undoing of Imo as a financially viable state.

 

With all these debts and the looming judgment debts from over 600 lawsuits filed by IMO indigenes, as a result of the executive lawlessness that infringed on the rights of impending total collapse from its debt burden. Imo state as a Government is looking at total Bankruptcy in two or three years and this will lead to an unprecedented retrenchment of the civil service work force. IMO is on the verge of the dreaded retrenchment of the military era due to the Executive recklessness of the current administration.

Written & submitted by: Dr.Kelechi Okpalake 

 

Okpalake served as Commissioner for Information & Strategy

under the Ohakim Administration.

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