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Rivers Is Broke, Heavily Indebted

GOV. CHIBUIKE ROTIMI AMAECHI… Owes Teachers N5.4bn, Pensioners N9bn

… Contractors Abandon projects

Development now stalls in Rivers State following the abandon of various project sites by contractors for what they call “non availability of funds.” Contractor handling the Ilaobuchi-Eagle Island link road has since abandoned the site. The multi-billion naira Trans-Kalabari High Way has suffered a fresh set back as government is yet to mobilize the contracting firm (LUBRIC) that handling the project. This was made known by the former chairman of the Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Pleasant Braide while speaking at the inauguration of LGA and Ward officers of GDI in the Degema Local Government Area, at the weekend. Contractors have also abandoned Egbelu/Ogbogoro, Elioparanwo and Rumuolumeni Roads. Several laudable projects have been abandoned across the state.

Meanwhile, information reaching our newsroom had revealed that the newly recruited teachers have not received their monthly wages in the past six (6) months. According to the information the 6 months salary is estimated at over N5.4bn naira. The Government has kept the teachers in the dark. They have not been informed  when the payment will be made.

The said information contained that the newly recruited teachers are numbering thirty thousand (N30,000). Of recent, while addressing journalists in Government House, Gov. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi put the number of teachers recently employed at thirty thousand, two hundred (30,200).

When our education correspondent contacted some of the affected teachers, they complaint bitterly, alleging that the Rivers State Government is not sincere and does not treat them as human beings. They frowned at the attitude of the Government.

“How can somebody work for six (6) months without pay”? One of the affected teachers asked rhetorically. He disclosed that there are moves going on for the new teachers to embark on a protest to express their grievances.

He said the education officers who are handling their affairs are very wicked. His words, “Today nobody is talking about our salary. The Commissioner for Education, Nemi Lawrence keeps silence about it.

Allwell Onyesoh, the man in charge of the Post Primary Schools Board is also silent. Nobody seems to talk about our pay. What kind of wicked act is this? Are we gone back to the era of slavery where people will work without any payment? This is the wickedness of the highest order”.

The affected teachers called on the government to do something positive about it in order to save them from hunger.

“Most of us cannot feed well, because there is no money for us to do so. Amaechi should help us so that we will not die of hunger”, they pleaded.

The Rivers State chapter of the Nigerian Association of Pensioners has alleged that some of it’s members have not received their gratuities. An executive officer of the association told our reporter that, the pensioners in the state are suffering, alleging that most persons who retired two or three years ago have yet to receive their gratuities.

He disclosed that the unpaid gratuities are amount to N9bn, and accused government of not having the interest of the pensioners at heart.

According to him, in no distant time, the pensioners will stage a peaceful protest, lamenting that, “Most of us have died without receiving our gratuities. I don’t understand the kind of government we are running in this state. How can somebody disengaged from active service three (3) years ago, without receiving his or her gratuities uptil now. It is very unjust to do so”. ###


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