The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has suspended the Accountant-General of the State, Mrs Stella Udogwu over non-payment of the November salary of Local Government Workers.
Okorocha also ordered the arrest of the Branch-Managers of Ecobank and Access Bank where the workers’ money for the payment was lodged.
Governor Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, made this known in a release on Friday.
According to Okorocha, the suspension of the Accountant-General would take effect immediately, directing that the Chief of Staff appoint an acting Accountant-General pending the appointment of a new person to the office.
Okorocha said before now he had directed that the October and November salaries of workers in the state be paid at the same time in October.
He said he was dismayed that the directive was not carried out until he was informed at the 40th Anniversary ceremony of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Owerri on Friday.
“I had released the salaries of every worker in Imo State since the second week of October and so if Local Government workers are being owed, then somebody must take responsibility for it and will be dealt with according to law.
“This is a criminal act aimed at disgracing this government; what they do is that they take the money and put in the bank and collect the interest.”
The governor said he assumed the directive was carried out but was surprised to be told by the leadership of NULGE during their celebration that the workers had not been paid.
He further directed that the November and December salary of workers be paid on Monday since Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 fell on a weekend.
“Your salary must be released and your December Salary shall be paid immediately. All the interests from the salary kept in the bank must be collected and shared to the Local Government workers who are the owners of the money,” the governor said.
Okorocha also announced that each worker would get N10,000 as Christmas bonus and that each local government director of administration and general services would receive N2.5m as car allowance.
He also said that staff of Local Government Service Commission could rise to GL 17 without having to convert to be staff of the ministry to get to the grade.
“From today there won’t be any need for any Local Government worker to try to convert to the Ministry to be able to get to level 17 or become a permanent secretary.
“Today, I have officially lifted the embargo on Local Government staff getting to level 17.
“Henceforth, staff of the Local Government Service Commission will be promoted to level 17 when they are due for it.”