The Ogun State Government has declared that it did not divert the bailout funds from the Federal Government for another purpose, insisting that the money was wholly committed to the payment of arrears of salaries, co-operative deductions to all categories of its workers.
Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa stated this today in Abeokuta at separate meetings with Heads of Local Government Administrations (HOLGA) and the leadership of the State chapter of National Union of Local Government Employers (NULGE) in his office.
Barr. Adeoluwa, who expressed surprise at the insinuations in some quarters, that part of the funds, especially those due to Local Government Councils were diverted, blamed the development on communication gap between Government and the Local Government administrators, adding that anti-graft agencies, particularly the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), which monitored the disbursement across the country, gave the state a clean bill of health after the exercise.
Contrary to the rumour, Adeoluwa disclosed that government had to take funds elsewhere to augment the bailout to the councils.
“What was due to Local Government Councils from the total package we got, was N9.1 billion, from which we promptly cleared arrears of salaries, cooperative deductions of primary school teachers and Local Government staff.
“We are clear in our mind that not a dime from the money was used for anything else other than Local Government administration. We used bailout funds wholly to discharge the obligations we got if for”, the SSG said.
He explained that the confusion arose because the total amount of money then outstanding to Local Government workers, was far more than other categories of workers, as such, what they got was below what went for their colleagues.
The SSG, who noted that the meeting was at the instance of the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, challenged Local Government authorities to leverage on their individual strengths to boost their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), rather than absolute dependence on Federal Allocation.
Speakers at the meetings, including the State President of NULGE, Comrade Ayuba Olatunji commended the government for the initiative and submitted that such interface was long overdue.
According to them, if the meeting had been in place before now, a lot of issues would have been resolved before degenerating into needless controversies.