Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State on Tuesday disclosed that the vehicle he is driving was used by his predecessor, Chief Martin Elechi and therefore called for cut in the cost of governance in order to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
He made this known in Government House, Abalaliki, while commissioning brand new cars purchased for some new appointees in the state.
Umahi who lamented the high rate of suffering cum poverty in the country because of the dwindling economy, called on stakeholders to make sacrifices in the interest of the electorate.
He assured of putting smiles on the faces of his appointees but urged them to work for the interest of the masses.
He said “it’s quite very tight. We are going into review of workers’ salary which is a must, it is a commitment. All these projects scattered everywhere; commitment. So, sometimes without the grace of God it is difficult and allocation all over the country is dropping.
“These vehicles are partly 9.9% government and .01% personal. Your transport allowances are being paid inside consolidated salary, so this vehicles is to enable you discharge your duties diligently. We are in the process of replacing the vehicles for the Development centre Coordinators and of course, the local government Chairmen but it’s not quite very easy. But I believe strongly that I should begin to save. Early next year, we will be able to have enough money to purchase the vehicles.
“I want to appeal to our leaders let us make sacrifices because of those that elected us, because of those that are at home. There are people that cannot find one square meal to eat and so, it will not be good that we starve everybody, after all, the vehicle I am driving is that of Chief Elechi which he used for 8 years.
“So, we have to make sacrifices, we have to find a way to cut the cost of governance and I also wonder sometimes government appointees grumble. We have brand new vehicle for you, taking salaries and so on, yet you are grumbling. You are putting yourself in a very terrible spiritual position because do you want to be like this people in the village?”.
Similarly Engr. David Umahi of Ebonyi on Tuesday, 22nd October, 2019 has announced to his appointees that the door is open for them to quit, instead of grumbling.
Umahi made the pronouncement in Abakaliki while distributing 68 SUVs to some appointees including Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants, Permanent Secretaries and members of the state House of Assembly.
The governor said it was baffling to see appointees grumbling in spite of having new vehicles and earning salaries, noting that such persons were putting themselves in a terrible spiritual situation.
According to him, “Do you want to be like the people in the village? Everybody here, including myself, is privileged and we are not better than those not in this position.”
“Nobody should take him or herself as a superstar, as you cannot be in the system and still be castigating it.”
“Those who know what they are doing don’t have time to grumble but to invent things. But when you have nothing to offer, you gossip and complain to cover things,” he said
He noted that the government was “watching such persons with one eye,” stressing that the vehicles still belong to the government in spite of being used by the appointees.
“The vehicles are 99.9% owned by government and 0.1% owned by the appointees and if you are leaving government, you will give us the vehicles.”
“There is no calculation in this, as the number of days you will ride the cars is your own benefit,” he said.
Umahi said the appointees’ transportation allowances were embedded in their consolidated emoluments, noting that the vehicles were meant to assist them perform optimally in their various duties.
“The old appointees will not get new vehicles but car loans, which is optional and this is because the poverty in the land is much.”
“I cannot be giving new vehicles every four years. Our people are suffering and need our attention as their population gives us the little we have,” he said.
He called on the state’s leaders to make sacrifices because of the people who could not get a meal to eat, adding that the vehicle he was using was used by his predecessor for eight years.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, thanked the governor for providing the vehicles, noting that they cost millions of Naira.
“The vehicles would be distributed to some SSAs, SAs, Permanent Secretaries, 13 coordinators of local government areas development centers, among others.