The Kogi State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Federal Government to pay the balance of the N30.8 billion bailout funds directly into workers’ account.
According to the party, any money released to Governor Yahaya Bello will go down the drain, unaccounted for, leaving workers more pauperized.
A statement signed by Bode Ogunmola, PDP Publicity Secretary in the state on Friday, acknowledged the sufferings of Kogi State workers, who are yet to receive salaries for 38 months.
“We are calling on the Federal government not to harken to the crocodile tears of Gov. Yahaya Bello that when released the balance of N30.8billion would be used to offset workers salaries.
“The federal government should fashion out a process to directly pay into the account of the workers. Aside the bailout funds, the governor has accessed closed to N70 billion Paris club refunds, aside commercial loans. Despite all these funds, Gov. Bello has plunged the state into debt of about N200 billion since he assumed office.” the statement added.
According to the party, the administration of Capt Idris Wada applied for fifty billion naira, even though the state was not indebted to that amount, and knowing fully well that all the requested money may not be approved.
The funds which got approval during the Capt Wada’s administration according to the PDP were, however, not released to him for political reasons.
The PDP also lamented that the money, which was released to Gov. Bello, rather than have the arrears of the workers paid, has now witnessed increased in the arrears, all because the money accessed by the present administration went into private pockets.
The PDP disclosed that following the drastic drop in oil prices in 2008, and in 2013, with oil selling for as low as $32, a situation that made most States not to be able to pay salaries, said states like Kogi with less internally generated revenue became faced with the challenge of salary payment.
The PDP said it has no confidence in Gov. Bello, having squandered over N200 billion loans outside statutory allocation it has received, advised workers not to help cry too much for Gov. Bello to access the bailout balance, which in his characteristics he would squander.
The statement further stated that; “Despite all the resources accrued the state under the governor Bello’s administration, no single project or meaningful development can be pointed to by the Gov. Bello-led administration.”
The PDP appealed to the federal government, working through the CBN to carry out an investigation into how the past bailout, Paris club refunds and other loans meant to pay workers were squandered, leaving the arrears to increase astronomically, with workers owed for as much as thirty months despite all the accrued resources.