By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri
The Imo state government on Thursday said that eight persons said to be pensioners receive eighth million naira annually as a pension.
The Imo state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, spoke in Owerri, while reacting on questions on pension fraud in Imo, on a radio programme, adding that many people have wrong account numbers and BVN, just to receive more than their due salaries.
For the thinking of Emelumba, that “Imo state government is set to confiscate and recover all properties acquired by those behind payroll fraud in the state just as it made a shocking revelation that only eight Pensioners have been earning a whooping sum of N330m annually as a pension.
“The commissioner assured that the government will prosecute all those behind the payroll fraud in the state in addition to recovering the properties they acquired with money they fleeced from the public treasury through fraudulent manipulation of the payroll.
“The delay in clearing the outstanding pension, which he said was barley two months, was because the government was determined to cleanse the rot in the pension scheme once and for all. adding that the cleansing process was almost over and that the Pensioners would soon be paid.
“The phone in programme by some of the Pensioners during the radio programme, they admitted that they got their Pensions up to March while some said up to April, “it goes without saying that what we are talking about here is an outstanding pension of barely two months, contrary to the propaganda that government was owing four months Pension areas
” What is instructive here is that this government has been paying Pensions since January when it came into office. But along the line, there was a need to cleanse the rot discovered in the pension regime so this was what caused the delay in paying the few outstanding months”
He further said: “There were a number of discrepancies discovered which includes people earning salaries as government staffers and at the same time earning pensions, using wrong BVN or wrong account numbers to get pension and people being paid more than their due as a pension.
“The eight people earning N300M as annual pension was not the only such case of people earning more than their due as a pension.”