Delta Government on Monday made clarifications on the utilisation and disbursement of the N10 billion Paris Club refund accruing to the state.
Mr Charles Aniagwu, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, made the clarifications in a statement to newsmen in Asaba.
Aniagwu said that N3 billion was earmarked for priority projects and payment of contractors.
He said that N2.1 billion was disbursed to local governments while about N5 billion was set aside to settle certain salary arrears, co-operative deductions and pensions.
He noted that the Okowa-led administration was committed to prudent, transparent and accountable management of the state’s resources just as he was committed to taking decisions that would be in the best interest of the people.
“Gov. Okowa has vowed to remain prudent, transparent and accountable to the people because he realises that the ultimate political power rests with the people who overwhelmingly voted him into office.
“He has assured that Deltans will get value for every money that accrues to the state at all times.”
Aniagwu said though the state government had supported local governments in the payment of workers’ salaries in the past, it could no longer continue to do so due to paucity of funds.
“Even though we assisted them in the past, we couldn’t continue in the present economic circumstance as we have our own challenges, because a man cannot give what he doesn’t have.”
Aniagwu explained that N3 billion was earmarked for infrastructure and payment of contractors because government exists for everybody and not just for the payment of workers’ salaries.
“If the government spends virtually all that comes to pay salaries of workers, what happens to the larger chunk of the population? he queried.
The Chief Press Secretary gave an assurance that the government, with the support it was getting from the Nigeria Society of Engineers, would also tackle the flooding of Asaba and its environs.
He also said that the government was committed to completing the Okpanam, DLA and Mariam Babangida roads, among others.(NAN)