Ogun govt. denies diverting bailout money
The Ogun Government on Wednesday denied diverting the bailout fund from the Federal Government for other purposes as widely rumoured.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, made the clarification at separate meetings with Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) and the leadership of the National Union of Local Government Employers (NULGE) in Abeokuta.
He insisted that the money was solely committed to the payment of arrears of salaries and co-operative deductions of all categories of the state’s workforce.
Adeoluwa expressed surprise at the insinuations in some quarters that part of the fund, especially those due to local government councils, had been diverted.
He blamed the development on communication gap between government and the local government administrators.
Adeoluwa said that the 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.
“What was due to local government councils from the total package we got was N9.1 billion with 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 the bailout fund wholly to discharge the obligations we got if for,” he said.
Adeoluwa explained that the confusion arose because the total amount of money outstanding to local government workers was more than other categories of workers.
“As such, what they got was below what went to their colleagues,” he said.
He said that the meeting was convened at the instance of Gov. Ibikunle Amosun who challenged local government authorities to leverage on their individual strength to boost their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Adeoluwa said that the governor charged the councils to make use of their comparative advantage to improve their IGR rather than depend on the federal allocation.
The State President of NULGE, Ayuba Olatunji, commended the government for the clarification, saying that such interface was long overdue.
According to him, if the meeting had been in place before now, a lot of issues would have been resolved before degenerating into needless controversies. (NAN)