The immediate past governor of Kogi State, Capt Idris Wada, says the inability to pay current salaries to workers in the State is inexcusable, adding that the monthly allocation to the state is what is meant for payment of salaries every month and not bailout funds.
Capt Idris Wada broke his silence in a telephone chat with the Nigerian Post on the ongoing accusation by the Gov. Yahaya Bello’s administration that it inability to pay current salaries is hinged on it inability to access the bailout funds and salary indebtedness it inherited.
The former governor maintained that having accessed the bailout funds and yet arrears owed workers could not be paid, wondered what the monthly allocation is used for with workers still owed current salaries.
According to Capt Wada, the bailout funds received by the state was not meant for the payment of current salaries, but for arrears wondered what the allocations received was used for, asked if the inability to still pay current salaries by the state was caused by him.
The immediate past governor said the bailout funds was meant for outstanding salaries from 2011 to 2015, said the state government under his leadership got an approval for N45 for local government workers and N5.7billion for state civil servants.
While in office, the former governor disclosed that the average monthly workers salary was about N2.6billion, said the application and approval for the N5.7billion for state civil servants was projected to cover for a shortfall of two months because the state government was thinking ahead for the challenge that would happen owing to the drop and it did happen, unfortunately the money was not released to his administration.
The former governor said associating his administration to inability to pay current salaries doesn’t make sense, described as a very sad situation what is currently happening to the state.
According to Capt Wada, ” We had set up a committee made up of labour, the legislature, the office of the Head of service amongst other people so that there would be a transparent management of the money and payment. We had each name of the workers at both the State and local Government Areas and what each Person was to be paid.
Capt Wada explained further that his administration took the advantage of the bailout loan, with 9% interest for a twenty year repayment period, owing to a drop in allocation that was accruing to the state from March 2017, while that of the local government areas had began since 2011 began experiencing shortfall, making them to pay salaries in percentages.
The state under his leadership he explained was qualified for N80.7 billion as bailout because it was the least indebted in the country as his administration didn’t take any commercial loan, however got an approval for N50.7 billion, to cover for N5.7 for the state civil servants whom it envisaged would have a two months shortfall by the end of his administration, while the local government were due to get an average of N2billion to cover for their shortfall that began in 2011.
He lamented that despite the measures he put in place to ensure transparent payment of the money, his administration didn’t access the funds, described as inexcusable the inability to pay current salaries as that was not what the bailout was meant for.