Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Okorocha runs the rule in Imo State

Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha announced the dissolution of the 27 local government councils and 44 Area Development Centres in the state with immediate effect.

Okorocha announced the dissolution on Monday in a broadcast, saying that the local government system was fraught with 'corruption and indiscipline'.

“The present local government system is characterised by corruption and indiscipline and has lost the confidence of our people. This government is determined to fight evil and corruption and will not tolerate any form of indiscipline or evil from anyone no matter how highly placed.

“We are determined to make Imo better,” he said, adding that his administration would not afford to fail. The councils had been elected on August 27, 2010, in an election organised by the Ikedi Ohakim administration.

Okorocha also announced the dissolution of the state council of traditional rulers, saying that its leadership became unduly engaged in politics and no longer enjoyed the confidence of its members.
Jobs cut

The governor also suspended the 10,000 jobs offered by former governor, Ikedi Ohakim, in view of the state’s meagre monthly subvention of N2.2 billion, a monthly wage bill of N1.9 billion and a workforce of 13,000.

“With the approval of the N18,000 minimum wage by the out-gone administration, the wage bill will be twice the income of the state,” Okorocha said.

He said that the state’s total wage bill stood at about N100 billion, including internal and external debts as well as outstanding contract bills.

The governor said the state remained one of the low income states and commended the Imo State House of Assembly for the downward review of the security votes of the governor and his deputy.

Security vote slashed

The Imo House of Assembly had earlier cut down the state's security vote. The review of the security vote from N6.5 billion to N2.5 billion also affects the speaker and  deputy speaker of the Assembly, the chief judge and Assembly members.

The slashing of the security votes followed the amendment of a bill No 7 of 2011 on Imo State Governors and Speakers Benefits and Privileges. Ifeanyi Agwu, the chief sponsor of the bill had said that slashing the security votes of the affected officers of government became necessary to ensure full implementation of the governor's free education plan.

Other changes

In his speech, Okorocha decried the politicisation of the Evan Enwerem University, Owerri, by the authorities and announced the suspension of the acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Osy Nwebo.

He also approved the change of the name of the institution to Imo State University, Owerri, “in line with the repeal of the law by the House of Assembly”.

He promised that the health institutions in the state would be rationalised and made more functional.

The governor also said that the government would take urgent steps to tackle the problem of infrastructure decay in public schools.

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