Imo State Government Begins Secret Down Sizing Of Its Work Force

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By Peter Uzoma.

Since the beginning of this year the Imo State government has embarked upon what could go for clandestine downsizing of her work force.

    Some months back, the State government had issued a warning captioned “IMO STATE GOVERNMENT SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT” and signed by the Commissioner for Information, Public Orientation and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba in which it expressed with dismay that some civil servants, for inexplicable reasons, absent themselves from duties, especially on Mondays.

   The announcement went further,  “going forward, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma has directed that any civil servant who absents himself/ herself from duty on Mondays or any other day for that matter will lose his/ her salary in addition to other punishments that may be recommended”.

   Since then Permanent Secretaries and heads of Parastatals and heads of Agencies of government have commenced daily roll calls of workers, as directed, to ensure defaulters are penalized. Part of the announcement reads “Government of Imo State has observed with dismay that some civil servants, for inexplicable reasons, absent themselves from duties, especially on Mondays”.

    Trumpeta investigation at the State Secretariat reveal that while some civil servants are up to date with their salary payments some are owed four to five months salary arrears.

   The workers possibly victims of the new order said on complaining,  they were asked to petition the office if the Head of Service but to no avail.

   On why they still come to work, one of them said, “we want to know our fate naah”. However, an insider  in the office of the Head of Service hinted that “that was a new style of downsizing by this administration”.

   The informant who pleaded anonymity also revealed that by the time the victims are owed upto one year, it would have dawned on them that they were no more wanted in the service.

   Most of those affected claimed they come to work from volatile areas where coming out on Mondays meant beckoning on death.

   Last Friday, (following a sit at home order by IPOB) as Trumpeta monitored compliance of attendance to work,  it was discovered that the State Secretariat was almost empty.

   In one of the offices, a senior personnel( names with held )was seen dishing out orders that names of all absentees should be compiled. In his words, ” make sure you don’t write those not here oooo”.

   From the grapevine, the defaulters, following another order from the state government last Friday, may join the bandwagon  of those who may not be paid their May salaries and going forward.

   Meanwhile, some people have described these method of downsizing as not too fair saying the authorities are behaving as if they don’t have value for human life.