Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Kwara State has engaged the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in yet another war over its resolution seeking the sum of N5 billion bond as bailout to fund local government areas.
Investigations by Nigerian Pilo revealed that the 16 local government areas in Kwara state have for some months now been unable to meet up with their statutory responsibility of paying staff salaries, gratuity, pensions as well projects execution among others.
It was learnt that in its bid to find succour to the lingering financial crises, the Kwara State House of Assembly last week during its plenary granted approval to local government areas to convert their outstanding salaries, pensions and gratuity amounting to N5,017,844,699.62 into bailout loan.
The Assembly which is composed of 24 members all from the ruling APC, noted that the approval became imperative to enable the third tier of government in the state benefit under the bailout arrangement of the Federal Government.
The Speaker also warned that the bailout loan should be strictly used for the intended purpose, saying that the House would not condole diversion of the loan for any developmental projects and assured that the relevant committees of the House would monitor its implementation to ensure strict compliance.
The Leader of the House, Hon Hassan Oyeleke, had while leading other members in debate, said the request was necessitated due to the inability of councils in the state to pay outstanding salaries, pensions and gratuity, saying that the loan repayable within 20 years had a single digit of 9 percent interest.
Meanwhile, the Kwara PDP has queried the rationale behind the state government’s decision to borrow N5 billion to pay the arrears of local governments’ staff salaries.
The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Rex Olawoye, who spoke to journalists in Ilorin challenged Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to explain what the monthly Federal Allocations to the councils have been used for.
He maintained that the N3.5 billion Federal Allocation to the 16 local governments in the state for the month of June was adequate to offset the three months arrears of salaries allegedly owed council staff.
The PDP chieftain said this was aside the state statutory allocation of N5.2 billion from the Federation Account for the same month.
Olawoye said: “Once an organisation resorts to borrowing to pay salaries, such organisation should be counting its days of collapse or bankruptcy. “As much as it is good to pay salaries with borrowed money, how do you pay back the loan with the interest? Borrowing to pay salaries means postponing the evil days,” he said.
He also challenged Ahmed to tell the world what happened to the June allocation that should warrant his borrowing money for salaries even as he forged ahead to give breakdown of the June allocation to each of the 16 councils to prove why it was needless for the APC-led state government to raise bond to pay salaries.
The PDP Spokesman who is also a former Chairman of Ifelodun local government area said that Ifelodun got N266 million in June and was only able to pay N65 million as monthly salaries.
“Even if the local government spent N195 million to offset three months arrears, it would be left with balance of N71 million for other services.
“Asa got N202 million; Baruten, N323 million; Edu N253 million; Ekiti, N156 million; Isin, N157 million; Ilorin East, N232 million; Ilorin South, N234 million and Ilorin West, N279 million.
“Others were Irepodun, N200 million; Moro N208 million; Kaima, N258 million; Offa, N186 million; Oke-Ero, N157 million; Oyun, N178 million; and Pategi, N213million”, he added.
While defending its decision to seek the loan, the Kwara State Government disclosed that the N5billion Federal Government bailout loan is the cheapest and most efficient means of paying accumulated arrears of salaries and allowances owed to primary school teachers and other local government employees.

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