Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday accused the state government of diverting the over N3 billion received from the federal government bailout fund aimed at paying salaries and pensions of workers and retirees in the state.
Spokesperson of the party, Cheif Rex Olawoye on Monday described the alleged diversion as criminal.
According to him, “Our party is alarmed by this curious conduct and we dare say that the diversion is criminal, insensitive and a total negation of the spirit behind the funds’ release.
“Our party reliably learnt that the Kwara State share of the bailout funds was paid on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. But till this very moment, over five months salaries being owed some categories of workers in the state are yet to be paid.
“Even more curious is the fact that the Kwara State Government has kept mute about the exact amount it got from the Consolidated Revenue Account in bailout. Whereas, virtually all states of the federation, particularly Abia, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Kano, Katsina and Kaduna States have publicly declared how much they got in bailout from the Federal Government, the APC-led government of Kwara State has kept a dangerous silence over the funds, thereby confirming the rumour making the rounds that the sudden homecoming of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on the very day the funds was disbursed to Kwara State was with a bid to partake in the illegal sharing of the bailout funds.”
Olawoye further noted: “We therefore call on the national leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union of Nigeria, RATAWU, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, ASUP whose members are the worst hit in Kwara State to prevail over the Kwara State government to immediately commence the payment of arrears of salaries, allowances and pensions of workers without further delay to ameliorate the suffering of the civil servants in the state.”‎
But in a swift reaction by the senior special assistant to the governor on Media and Communication, Dr. Muideen Akorede, the state government dismissed insinuations that it had diverted the N2.1billion received recently from the federal government.
It also denied receiving N3 billion from the central government, stressing that it had only received its share of NLNG dividend recently distributed to all tiers of government.
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed also dismissed as untrue claims made by the state PDP that the state government had diverted the funds.
According to him, the state government had neither received a bail out from the Federal Government nor the N3billion claimed by the opposition party.
On the issue of alerting the public about how much was received, Governor Ahmed said government officials informed officials of the state chapters of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, during meetings held last week to update them on the funds received and how they will be utilised, adding that the information was also in the public domain.‎

READ ALSO  Oil price jumps on Russian and Saudi plans