Gov Okorocha explains ‘Operation back to land’ policy

By Chinasa Ogbonna

Gov Rochas Anayo Okorocha of Imo State has explained his administration’s policy to boost agriculture which he named “operation back to land for agriculture.”
He said that part of the scheme was the pronouncement   of a three-day working week for civil servants who were required to show up on Mondays Tuesdays and Wednesdays in their offices with effect from August 1.
According to the governor who spoke recently to some traditional rulers that called on him at the Government House, Owerri, Thursdays and Fridays are for the civil servants to farm.
The governor said that the scheme would promote agriculture and would ensure that the legacy which our forefathers handed down to us was not allowed to die in our generation.
He stressed that the policy would not affect workers’ salaries, adding that the white collar job should not be allowed to mislead people.
Those on essential duties, such as teachers, doctors and internally generated revenue (IGR) workers, are, however, not part of the scheme, he said, adding that henceforth civil servants would resume work by 7.30am and close by 4p.m.
He  abolished casual and annual leaves and warned against absenteeism, appealing to families and churches to use only Saturdays for ceremonies, such as burials, so that the workers would concentrate on their duties on their work days.
He directed that June and July salaries be paid and pensions also paid as soon as harmonization exercise is over.
Owelle made it compulsory for all political appointees to own farms while all institutions – schools, hospitals, ministries, parastatals, LGAs etc. – must have farms which would be monitored by a committee yet to be set up.

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