The Anambra state government says it has uncovered 850 ghost workers in the bid to eliminate waste in its expenditure.
Governor Willie Obiano disclosed this Thursday evening in an interactive session with media practitioners in the state.
He said that was part of the internal mechanism his administration had adopted to cope with the harsh economic condition in the country occasioned by crash in oil prices.
“We are one of the four states in the country that are still paying regular salaries to our workers and carrying out meaningful projects because of prudent management of our resources in the midst hard times,” Obiano said.
“It’s not rocket science. We’ve been able to achieve all these by eliminating waste. If I was getting 100 percent of Federal allocation when I assumed office in 2014, it’s now 27 percent.”
The governor noted that the drop in the Federal allocation was impeding his development plan for the state.
Obiano who said his administration would remain focused despite the odds, maintained that his “Four Pillar” development agenda, which include Agriculture, Trade and Commerce, Industrialization and Oil and Gas as well as 13 ancillary enablers would continue to guide and propel his blueprints for the state.
He noted that the Internally Generated Revenue of the state had improved from N500 million per month where he met it to an average of N1.2 billion monthly.
He said his administration was targeting N2.2 billion IGR monthly for the state, but ruled out heavy taxing of the people.
He said the peaceful and secure environment he had created had made the state an investment destination, noting that the state had earned about 3.2 billion US dollars in that respect, with attendant job creation for the youth.
The governor said the state had moved to facilitate 85 megawatts of electricity through private sector as an addition to the 85 megawatts the state is currently receiving from the national grid.
He also promised that the power station in Nnewi which had reached 60 per cent completion would soon come on stream.
Commenting on the dilapidated Federal roads in the state, the governor said he would no longer finance their construction as according to him, the Federal Government owed the state N34 billion it had expended on such road projects in the past.
Regretting that the reconstruction of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway was not captured in the 2016 Federal Government budget, Obiano implored the President Muhammad Government to reconsider work on the road to reduce the suffering of the people.
On non-conduct of local government polls in the state, the governor said lack of funds was major reason for not conducting the election.
“But I don’t use local government funds for anything because the funds were not enough to run the local governments. Sometimes, I bail them out to enable them to pay their retired workers, Obiano said.
The governor called for understanding and continued support of the people of the state for his administration.
Responding on behalf of the journalists, the Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel in the state, Mr Emma Ndukuba assured the governor of effective reportage of the state within the ambit of professional practice.