Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo on Monday said that the total pension burden hanging on Imo Government as at July, 2016, is more than N16 billion.
Okorocha, who made the disclosure during a news conference in Owerri, said his priority now is how to offset the pension burden.
“As we talk, my priority now is to clear the entire pension owe Imo retirees.
“How I will do that is only what is before me now and I will address that soonest, “ he said.
The governor said that his administration had paid backlog of salaries owed Imo workers, adding, “the workers being owed now are only those of judiciary and Imo State University Teaching Hospital. “
Okorocha explained the motive behind the policy directing workers in the state civil service to work from Monday to Wednesday, and go to their farms on Thursdays and Fridays.
He said the policy was to redress the current trend, whereby the state depends largely on states in the northern part of the country for food.
“As we talk, the food we consume in the state like rice, yam, tomatoes, pepper, and livestock all come from the north.
“If they (north) decide to cut the food chain, we will be in serious problem,“ the governor said.
Okorocha stressed that the agricultural policy was also to enable the workers benefit from Federal Government’s agricultural initiative.