IRKED by the reluctance of the members of staff of sub-treasuries to implement the government’s new policy on electronic payment of pensioners, the Abia State Government has directed the immediate stoppage of their salaries.
The Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Philip Nto, in a release, said the disciplinary measure would not be vacated until the erring officers comply with the new policy, which he explained, was aimed at eradication corruption in the system.
Nto, who lamented that his late father’s name was still in the pensioners’ payroll years after his demise, said the government would not hesitate to expose and prosecute any official found defrauding the state.
The commissioner vowed that the government would not rescind its decision to commence the implementation of electronic payment of pensioners by the end of July 2014, warning that anyone who constitutes a clog to the proposal would be severely dealt with.
He, therefore, directed the heads of Sub-treasuries to ensure strict compliance, with all government directives regarding the welfare of pensioners.
The Heads of Sub-treasuries were also directed to submit without delay the necessary documents and data needed for the verification and commencement of e-payment of pensioners in the state.
When implemented, the new policy is expected to end the woes of pensioners in the state, who have complained bitterly of pension arrears even when the fund was provided by the government.
The PUNCH recalls that the government’s directive on biometric audit of the council’s staff two years ago met stiff opposition from some fraudulent officials and cabal, who had corruptly enriched themselves through public funds.
The sharp practice has gone unchallenged for years, hence, the reluctance of the heads of sub-treasuries to facilitate the commencement of the electronic payment.
The state Governor, Theodore Orji, had early last year declared total war against corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds, warning that any government official(s) found culpable would be fired and prosecuted.