Kwara governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, has said that the Federal Government had not given money to any state government to pay backlog of workers’ salaries.
Ahmed made the clarification on Thursday during a live radio programme, “Governor explains” of Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation, in Ilorin.
He said that what Kwara got from the Federal Government was its share of dividend from Nigerian Liquefy and Natural Gas (NLNG).
He said this money that ought to have been shared during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan was only released by President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting with the governors.
Ahmed said that contrary to claim in some quarters, the Federal Government would not give money to any state to pay workers’ salaries.
He disclosed that Kwara received N2.1 billion from the NLNG funds while the 16 local government councils in the state received N1.4 billion.
He said that the ‘’NLNG dividend’’ was not supposed to be used to pay salary, but should be kept to augment federal allocations to meet government’s obligations to the people.
“But in Kwara State, we used part of the money to pay workers’ salaries, especially as the Sallah celebration was drawing nearer,’’ he said.
The governor said that during the meeting, three crucial issues were discussed with the president which included refund of money spent on federal roads in the state.
He said the governors also discussed sharing of all monies accruing to the federation account and bailout on the payment of existing loans taken by the state governments.
According to him, virtually all states in the country have incurred a lot of debt through bonds and bank loans.
This, he said, had really affected allocations coming to the states as loan repayments were deducted at source.
Ahmed explained that the Federal Government only offered to take over all loans taken by the states, adding that Buhari did not give them money as bailout.
According to him, the Federal Government decided to take over the loans to allow state governments to have more money for salaries and other projects.
He said that instead of paying back the loan in four years, it had been spread over 20 years, to give the state governments temporary respite.
“State Governments will now have to pay less on the loan monthly, and have enough fund to pay workers’ salaries and execute other projects,” he added.
The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment not to retrench any worker in the state even as the state planned to introduce new internal revenue generation system.
He also assured the people of the state that government would not introduce any new form of taxation, adding that what the government wanted from the people was total compliance to the new system.
He explained that to increase the state internal revenue profile, the government had decided to consolidate its tax collection system.
He said that because of the dwindling financial resources of the state, there would be a reduction in the cost of running government, adding that merger of ministries was part of it.
Ahmed also said that he would announce the names of his commissioners within the next one month, explaining that the delay constituting his cabinet was not unconnected with the state’s lean purse.

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