Outgoing Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday, said he would hand over N42.5 billion to the Emeka Ihedioha’s incoming government because he does not want to hear excuses from Ihedioha.
Okorocha, who made the announcement in Owerri through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemedo, while swearing in 11 permanent secretaries as well as the new Accountant-General among others, also explained to Ihedioha where to channel the funds.
Governor Okorocha also claimed that he could not have access to the funds because of the several petitions written against him (Okorocha) to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by members of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He mentioned two banks where some of the monies have been lodged.
According to the release, “Governor Rochas Okorocha has disclosed that he has kept N42.5 billion for his successor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, stating that he decided to keep such amount for the incoming governor so that there won’t be excuses in carrying out activities of the government.
“The governor explained that N8.1 billion of the money was meant for the payment of salaries and capital projects, while N5.2 billion was for pension arrears.
“He also stated that N7.6 billion was meant for the renovation of schools, while N21.6 billion was mapped out for rural roads; totalling N42.5 billion.”
— He’s lying – PDP —
However, the state chapter of PDP described Okorocha’s claim of leaving N42.5 billion for the incoming administration of Emeka Ihedioha as “blatant lies.”
PDP, through the State Publicity Secretary, Demian Opara, said the party doubted the statement from Okorocha, alleging that the outgoing regime has left the state in debt.
According to Opara, “Okorocha is leaving behind a debt of N100 billion and uncompleted projects worth N200 billion. Pensioners are owed 90 months of pension arrears.
“Okorocha is saying a blatant lie. He has been using our money in doing some naughty jobs in this state. Any statement from Okorocha will be taken with a pinch of salt. We doubt what Okorocha is saying.”
— Okorocha breaks down the funds —
Meanwhile, Okorocha alleged that “following petitions from PDP chieftains, EFCC blocked the money for the payment of arrears of pension and others at the point of starting the payments.
“Remember God in discharging your duties. Discharge your duties without fear or favour and also defend your state when the need arises. I gave this state my best. I will do all I can to support the incoming government.
“Imo State Government has kept aside a total of N42.5 billion for the incoming government, and for that reason, I will set up a sub-committee to make sure that the projects they are attached to come to fruition even when I am out of office or when I will not be available, because government is a continuum.
“The N8.1 billion that came into Imo State coffers from the state, local government and FAAC has not been expended; not even one naira has been taken away from it. N5.2 billion is the remnant of the Paris Club funds. Not one naira has been removed from it.
“The third is N7.6 billion that came from UBEC. Imo State has paid a total of N3.8 billion counterpart fund and UBEC has brought in their N3.8 billion. That gave us N7.6 billion. That money is intact and not one naira has been removed from it.
“The fourth is the RAMP fund of $60 million (N21.6 billion) and is also in Imo State Government’s account. The money is also here in Imo State and no one naira has been touched.
“If you add N8.1 billion, N5.2 billion, N7.6 billion and N21.6 billion, you have a total of N42.6 billion which I will be handing over to the Emeka Ihedioha-led government on May 29 (tomorrow).
“How are these monies meant to be expended? I want to put it succinctly clear: the N8.1 billion from FAAC usually will cover the cost of salaries and capital projects. This government is expected to spend this N8.1 billion for the payment of salaries for May and also for the payment of other contractual obligations as may be deemed fit.”
“The new permanent secretaries are Mr. Donald Igbo, Mrs. Edith Ekenze, Mr. Elias Anyanwu, Mr. Justus Oguoma, Rev. Reginald Oguike, Mr. Benjamin Nnamadu, Mrs. Patricia Elebiri, Engr. George Ejiogu, Mrs. Patricia Ezeonyeachi, Mrs. Ngozi Bernadine and Mrs. Meg Obi,” he added.