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Imo State Deputy Governor, Engr. Gerald Irona to NULGE: Don’t Protect Ghost Workers

…As Union Lauds Ihedioha on LG Autonomy
Source: Walter Duru, Ph.D
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Deputy Governor of Imo State, Engr. Gerald Irona has called on the leadership of the National Union of Local Government Employees-NULGE in the state not to cover up acts of criminality in the local government system in the state, particularly the ghost worker syndrome.

The Deputy Governor made the call while receiving a delegation of the state leadership of NULGE, who came on a solidarity visit to his office on Tuesday.

He used the occasion to explain the essence of the ‘Clock-in-Clock-out’ policy of the state government, describing it as aimed at identifying ghost workers within the public service.

“Let me on behalf His Excellency, the Governor, assure you that we are committed to reinvigorating and making local government administration more functional and productive.”

Cross section of Members of the NULGE delegation posing for a group photograph with the Deputy Governor, Engr. Gerald Irona

“We will work with the leadership of NULGE to ensure that we move to the next level in our desire to making local governments in Imo work for the people. We need peace in the state and among labour unions. We want vibrant labour organizations that will engage us on governance issues.”

“We came into office to see that all government structures and systems were broken down. If you have fresh concerns about the Clock-in-Clock-out policy, I urge you to take further steps to engage the government, but please note that we are out to weed the state civil service of ghost workers. It is not fair that some people go to work every day while others, some of who stay abroad receive salary from the state government, without working. This is most uncharitable. Please, we urge you not to protect ghost workers and those sabotaging the economy of the state.”

“Since the inception of this administration, we have put in place systems to ensure regular and timely payment of salaries and entitlements of workers. We will be encouraged to do more, when we see that the people employed to work are doing their job. Please, support the Clock-in- clock out programme and encourage your people to embrace it.”

Earlier, in a 3-page address, President of the Union, comrade Richard Eze lauded the administration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha for restoring the autonomy of the Local Government in the state, assuring him of the union’s unalloyed support.

“We are grateful for the prompt approval and implementation of financial autonomy to the Local Governments in the state. Today, life has been restored to the Local Governments and its administration- salaries regularly paid, schedule of duties reclaimed, staff claims paid, then the follow-up job satisfaction and punctuality.”

“…the essence of this visit is to introduce to you the new leadership of our Great Union- NULGE in Imo State. As you are aware, the leadership is the product of our 8thQuadrennial state delegates conference held on 8th August, 2019 at Imo Labour House, Owerri.”

“Having applauded government for the approval and implementation of financial autonomy for Local Governments in the state, we also appreciate the reversal and payment of 100% Salary to workers which hitherto was slashed by the former administration of Governor Rochas Okorocha.”

“We remain grateful to you sir for prompting and amicably mediating and resolving the crisis that came up prior to the NULGE brach and state elections.”

Present at the meeting were: Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Mayor Eze, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs, members of the NULGE state executive, Local Government chairmen of the union, among others.

Walter Duru, Ph.D
Senior Special Assistant, Media and Communications to the Deputy Governor

September 24, 2019