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Rivers assembly summons 9 commissioners to explain unpaid salaries

THE Rivers State House of Assembly has summoned nine commissioners and other directors of the Governor Chibuike Amaechi-administration to appear before it today, Tuesday, in order for them to make clarifications on the conflicting reports of unpaid salaries of the state’s civil servants.

Those invited, according to the lawmakers who sat, Monday, are commissioners for Information, Finance, Tourism, Health, Power, Works, Agriculture, Budget and Transport.

Also, heads of ministries, departments and agencies summoned by the House include the Accountant-General, Chairmen of Board of Internal Revenue, Rivers State Assembly Service Commission and Secondary School Management Board.

This will be the first time the House would summon nine of the governor’s aides to give explanation on the state of Rivers’ economy and unpaid workers’ salaries.

The House had observed that while the state government was insisting that it had paid salaries of civil servants up to March 2015, there were reports that were contrary to such claim.

However, prior to the assembly’s decision to summon the commissioners and heads of MDAs, the Deputy Leader of the House, Mr. Nname Ewor, had during the 169th legislative session presented two motions.

Ewor, who represents Ahoada East Constituency 1, had raised the alarm over the level of insecurity and mismanagement of public funds, adding that the situation was common in the three affected local government areas.

The lawmaker said, “In these three councils, human lives have been rendered insignificant and financial frugality has been jettisoned to the waste bin. The local government areas are drifting to the Hobbesian State of Nature.”

Also, the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, explained that the decision of the House was not aimed at witch-hunting anybody.

Kwanee, who presided over the sitting of the House, expressed worry that reports on the state’s economy was not encouraging.

He added that the development necessitated the invitation of some top government officials to the House for some explanations on the issue..

“As an arm of government, we are not out to witch-hunt the executive. But we are out to strengthen things.

“You are aware that the seventh Assembly is gradually coming to an end. I want to tell you that it is better started than never. We have been seeing a lot of conflicting reports.

“The other day, the Commissioner for Information (Mrs. Ibim Semenitari) was on air saying that they (workers) have been paid up to March. So, we feel very embarrassed as an arm of government.”

Describing the motion on suspension of the caretaker committee chairmen as timely, Kwanee pointed out that the council chairmen should be held accountable for whatever happened in their various areas.

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