Irked by the reluctance of the staff of sub- treasuries to implement government new policy on electronic payment of pensioners, the Abia State Govenment has directed the immediate stoppage of the salaries of the staff of the sub- treasury .
Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Philip Nto, in a release said that the disciplinary measure would not be vacated until the erring officers comply with the new policy, which he explained was aimed at eradicating corruption in the system.
Nto who lamented that his late father’s name was still in pensioners’ payroll years after his demise said government would not hesitate to expose and prosecute any official found defrauding the state.
The Commissioner vowed that government would not rescind its decision to commence the implementation of electronic payment of pensioners by the end of July 2014, warning that any one who constitutes a clog to the proposal will 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 has been provided by government .
The PUNCH recalls that government’s directive on biometric audit of council staff two years ago met stiff opposition by 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.
Gov. Theodore Orji had early last year declared total war on corruption , misappropriation and outright embezzlement of public funds,warning that any government official (s) found culpable will be fired and prosecuted.