… As Governor threatens concession IMSU if…
Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State at the weekend explained the reason why workers of the of the state received about 50 percent of their salaries, saying it was because of the continued dwindling of the total revenue base of the state.
Workers of the state in the last few weeks have been complaining that their salaries had been slashed from the 70 percent in February to about 50 percent recently.
But, speaking with journalists at the state government house, Okorocha explained said this was the reason he wanted to concession some non-performing parastatals like Water Corporation, IWADA, ADP, among others so as to enable the concessionaires concentrate on providing the services to the people of the state as well as be in a good stead to pay some of the staff they might inherit from the parastatals.
He stated that this situation was what he foresaw early enough before the 2015 election and found a way of resolving it, but regretted that the workers out of selfish interest refused to see things from his own perspective.
“Now, they agreed that they should be given 70 percent of the state gross monthly revenue which we have painfully granted them while my government has only 30 percent of the total money to work for the people of Imo State. They have been the people paying themselves from the money. Today, the problem Imo workers have is that as the allocation and revenue keep dwindling, their 70 percent share of the Imo money can’t even pay them 50 percent salaries”, the governor said.
On the closure of the state university, IMSU, following indefinite strike action by the institution’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Okorocha accused the lecturers of trying to ground activities in the university because of their ulterior motives against the free education in the university.
He went ahead to accuse the lecturers of trying to blackmail his administration with a demand for a new salary scale when it was obvious that there was economic crunch in the state and country.
“If not that they are blackmailing me, ask them why they are still on strike even when we have paid them salaries up to March this year”, Okorocha wondered.
He stated that if the lecturers did not come back to school and save the youths of the state the sufferings, he would have no choice but to concession the state university and employ new lecturers to teach the suffering students.