The Rochas Okorocha-led administration has introduced a policy tagged: ‘Back TO Land for Agriculture’ in Imo state.
Explaining the new policy to traditional rulers, who paid him a courtesy visit at the government house, Owerri, Okorocha said henceforth, workers will be at their duty posts between Monday and Wednesday, and spend Thursday and Friday in their farmlands.
He said due to the nature of their work, public servants such as teachers, nurses, doctors, political appointees and those involved in internally generated revenue drive were exempted from the new arrangement.
“We shall try this programme for the period of one year, and hopefully this will help,” he said.
“Everything that has to do with agriculture no matter what shape it comes, government will support it. So many countries are going through economic crisis because of the fall in oil.
“Our nation is also going through very difficult moment. We have taken responsibility as leaders and we are not blaming anyone. Wise nations and leaders save for the rainy days. There were periods the oil price was in our favour. But those in charge then blew the money. They made no savings. Today the oil price globally has crashed and here we are. And we must fall back to agriculture as the panacea.
Okorocha said he had appealed to those involved in organising programmes like burial and other functions between Monday and Wednesday, to shift their events to weekends.
He said N2 billion has been set aside for the execution of the Back to Land for Agriculture project, assuring the workers that the new development would not lead to a reduction in their salaries.
“I also want to announce that government has appealed to families and those who organize burials on Mondays to Wednesdays to please change and have their burials on Saturdays so that we can concentrate on the government’s work and on the agricultural programme,” he said.
“Let me make this emphasis before it is misconstrued or misrepresented, that this does not in any way affect the salaries of the workers. Workers will get their full salaries as been the practice.
“Two billion naira has been set aside at the Micro-Finance Bank for the purpose of this Back To Land For Agriculture policy so that those willing can access it. And the time is gone when politicians and some Imolites will come to government in the pretence of farming and collect loans and use it to buy cars and marry new wives.”