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Shocking! Obiano owes Anambra retirees over N2bn gratuities

Mr. Valentine Obienyem, the personal Assistant on Media to former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has revealed that the Anambra State Government led by Mr. William Obiano owes retirees in the state over N2 billion gratuities.

Mr. Obienyem made the revelation in a memo made available to ElombahNews on Wednesday.

Obienyem recalled that by 2013, no retiree was owed gratuity in Anambra state.

“Since 2017, no retiree has been paid gratuity. How do we explain this?” he asked?

The memo titled “Anambra today: shocking!” reads:

By 2013, the arrears of pension and gratuities (close to 40 billion Naira) owed  pensioners in the state were all cleared. 

Indeed, a workman deserves his wage not out of mercy, but rather a pure case of necessity. I am aware that some  of those in government that had worked elsewhere were paid their gratuities.

Sad to note that since 2017, retirees in Anambra state, except Permanent Secretaries  and other highly-placed officials were selectively paid their gratuities while the rest have not  been paid.

The permanent secretaries involved told me this with regrets. It is not a case of hearsay. I am aware that some of you reading this piece have parents and relatives that are affected by this indebtedness.

Arrears of gratuities have gradually accumulated again to the tune of over 2 billion Naira.

Why owe workers that put in over 30 years of their productive lives in the service of the state? What offense did they commit?

Who pays this? I pity the man that will take over, for he will struggle to reverse the fortunes of the state that have been mercilessly bastardized. 

He would have arrears of gratuities, over 200 billion indebtedness, billions owed contractors, the stunted growth of diverse infrastructure to contend with.

This is besides the over 75 billion Naira inheritance that has since entered voicemail with the automatic refrain to enquirers: “That amount of money you are asking about is nowhere to be found now, please try in 2022.”

Would an airport or an ill- conceived conference centre justify the foregoing?  Just a question! Would our retirees be alive to use your airport and conference centre?

I asked the above question because it is clear that while the uninformed are busy celebrating an infrastructure like the conference centre, those behind it only seem  to derive joy not because of its utility, but for the ego message of being noted as having built the biggest conference centre in the world.

They amusingly call it “ signature projects.” In any case, everything they have built is either the biggest in the East or elsewhere!

Did you not see one of their kind comparing it to conference centres all over the world? If a conference centre in Lagos  with its population has the capacity of hosting 5,000 people  and it is serving them and  yours with less than 30% of Lagos  population has the capacity of hosting over 10,000 that would never be filled up, is that not incestuous reasoning and misplacement of priorities?

Rather than maintain the existing conference centre that is serving us, you opt to owe pensioners, contractors, plunged us into debt, abandoned more critical inherited infrastructure at Awka such as the mall and many roads and you want us to clap for you for building the biggest conference centre in the world and an airport with the biggest runway in Africa?

This grandiose posturing borders on delusion!

We cannot be all fools to be carried away by sheer size of a project that is useless in its very conception! [END]

Reacting to the revelation, a correspondent of ElombahNews, Mr. Eneh Victor Chigozie intoned:

“This is why they want [Prof. Charles Chukwuma] Soludo by all means.”

He added: “Note that the more James Eze and his [Obiano] boys struggle to attack Valentine Obienyem, the more he reels out incredible facts on the mess in this administration.

“Peter Obi came, saw and saved. They came, saw and squandered,” he added.

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