The Imo State Government has revealed that it uncovered a massive fraud within the State Pension Board, which had been ongoing for a number of years by high level officials in the Board along with some other retired civil servants.
The was disclosed by Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Uche Nwosu in a recent interview with Daily Sun.
Nwosu explained that the discovery of the fraud was brought to light following investigations by an audit panel set up by the state government. He added that those found guilty in connection with the fraud were being removed including the head of the Board.
The Chief of Staff also stated that the fund resulted from the accumulated pension of N1.3 billion in contrast to the authentic pension of N600 million which is an increase of above 100 per cent.
On the issue of non payment of pension arrears that recently resulted in protest in the state by pensioners, Nwosu stated that the state government was not in denial that it was not owing Pensioners. He, however, promised that the state government would by the end of July clear the arrears, noting that the state government had in recent months embarked on cleaning the Aegean stable in the State Pension Board as well as ‘ghost pensioners’ discovered during the audit probe.
Nwosu stated that the Governor, Rochas Okorocha has the interest of Pensioners at heart and that the State Labour Congress has been briefed on the government commitment to clear the Pension arrears very soon. The Chief of Staff said that the fundamentals of the state’s economy remains strong in spite of the financial downturn in the nation’s economy. In this regards, he said that following the reorganization of the state’s internal revenue sources, the State’s IGR had increased to over N600 million a month. He assured that the government had put strategies in place that would further increase the state’s finances and make it less dependent on federal allocation.
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