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Uzodinma approves free medicare, promotion for Imo workers

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Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma

GOVERNOR Hope Uzodinma has agreed to bear the cost of all medical treatment of all workers in the state as part of government’s effort to ensure that the civil servants are well positioned to carry out their duties without hitches. He also assured civil servants who are due for promotion to brace up for it, as the government will soon unveil their names.

  Besides, the shortfall in the number of teachers required by the State Education Management Board (SEMB) will soon be a thing of the past as the governor has promised to engage more teachers.

  The free social health insurance scheme for more than 47,000 Imo State civil servants, the plan to elevate those of them who are due for promotion among others were the highlights of a town hall meeting the governor held with top management staff of the state work force on Tuesday .

  The meeting, which was at the instance of the governor involved commissioners, permanent secretaries, directors in the ministries, heads of parastatals, chairman, Imo Internal Revenue Service Centre.

  The state chief executive said that the meeting afforded him opportunity to know from ministries and departmental agencies, complaints from workers about nonpayment of salaries and how best to foster a better working relationship among workers and political appointees in interest of the state.

  In his revelation, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Prosper Ohayagha said  that it will cost the state about N500 million annually to pay for the said medical services of all verified workers in the state medical services alone and the governor told him to consider it done; a promise that attracted a resounding ovation in the Sam Mbakwe auditorium of Imo State Government House, Owerri, the venue of the town hall meeting.

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  The governor quickly directed the Commissioner for Health to commence the process of getting all the medical staff involved in the scheme.

  By the free medical care, all the verified workers in Imo State in all levels of government are covered by the scheme without segregation.

  From questions the government took from the state workforce on why there has been pockets of complaints about nonpayment of salaries, the governor said that all verifications are completed, adding that very soon, that must be given the attention it deserve.

  He obliged them with records indicating that some civil servants have continued to compromise the data centre pay roll system by earning payment either as retired, absconded, ghost or deceased staff. Governor Uzodinma hinted that all along, workers without discrepancies has always received their payment as at when due.

  Some of the workers who brought their cases before the helmsman got instant attention, like physically challenged women from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Vulnerable Group,

  Mrs. Pius Anyanwu, who complained that her travel allowance of N5million to Japan and Indonesia years back was not paid despite repeated appeal.

  After listening to her pathetic stories, the governor told her, “don’t worry, I am going to pay you”.

  The Head of Service, Raymond Ucheoma, in his vote of thanks, commended Governor Hope Uzodinma for his light hearted disposition over the plight of state workforce, noting that Imo workers have not had like that before. He described the free medical services as “historic land mark” that cannot be forgotten.

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