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BAIL-OUT FUND, A LOAN NOT GIFT -Okowa

labourNULGEDelta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has debunked claims that the bail-out funds, given to Delta State was a gift from the Federal Government saying, the amount which was about N10 billion was a long-term loan facility.

Making this clarification on 07/10/15, in Asaba during the commissioning of an ultra modern secretariat of the Delta State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Governor Okowa disclosed that the state requested for more than N30 billion as bail-out fund to settle staff salaries of local government staff and pensioners who were being owed more than N30 billion naira, among others but got less.

The Governor stated that the clarification was necessary because the local government areas would be paying interests on the amount that will get to them from the fund.

“We have heard continuously about bail-out money and it is important for us to realize that there is a limit of money that has been disbursed by the bank for the purpose of bail-out and the money that got to Delta State is not just for us to attend the needs of the state and the monies we owe, it is also to attend to the local government councils and pensioners the much we can,” he said.

He also disclosed that, “we asked for a lot of money, we owe pensioners over N30 billion naira and putting everything together we asked for money to take care of some of the debts but what was approved for us was only a bit over N10 billion and we have to attend to the state, attend to local government, attend to the pensioners and we must realize that even that money is not free it is money that was loaned from the bank to the state for which we are making payments and we are paying interest and the much we can give to local government councils is also a loan.”

“So for those who are abusing the processes thinking that there are some free monies coming from above, it is not true,” he said, while using the opportunity to state that the Head of Personnel Management and Treasurer of Udu Local Government Councils would be sanctioned for flouting directives on the percentage of allocation meant for the payment of local government salaries.

According to him, from the month of October to the month of December all the local government councils in the state should spend 100 per cent of their allocations on staff salaries while they use their internally generated revenue for the operations of the councils.

“From the month of October through to December salaries should come before any other expenses, so, Chairmen, generate revenue to run the councils, 100 per cent of your Councils’ allocation will now be devoted purely for salaries,” the Governor said, stating, “in getting NULGE back to work, we sat down and agreed that, at least because of the very difficult times, 80 per cent of the money that we get at the end of every month must be put into staff salaries but, unfortunately some council chairmen have failed to do so and I frown at it, it is wrong because salaries is the first thing that we must pay.”

“I have directed the chairman of the Local Government Service Commission to remove the HPM and TLG of Udu local government for assisting in disobeying the agreement on modalities for payment of salaries, they should be replaced by persons who will be reappointed to that office, to serve as a deterrent to others who will want to cooperate in sabotaging government’s decisions.”

Governor Okowa commended NULGE for judicious use of resources and urged other unions in the state to engage in viable investments to shore up their financial base.

Those who spoke at the occasion include the representative of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Wabba Ayuba, national President of NULGE, Comrade Khaleel Ibrahim, Chairman of NULGE in Delta State, Comrade David Ofoeyeno thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his labour-friendly policies.

In a related development, Governor Okowa has charged the NLC to work towards a united labour union in Nigeria, stressing that the unity of Labour will contribute greatly towards enhancing improved workers welfare and strenghning democracy in the country.

The Delta Governor made the call on 07/10/15, in Asaba when the Deputy National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Kiri Mohammed led labour leaders to pay him a courtesy call.

According to the Governor, it was important for labour leaders to at all times, speak with one voice, assuring that his administration will continue to be labour-friendly and embark on projects that will impact positively on the lives of the people.

According to the Governor, it was important for labour leaders to at all times, speak with one voice, assuring that his administration will continue to be labour-friendly and embark on projects that will impact positively on the lives of the people.

Comrade Mohammed in his comments had told the Governor that they were in Asaba for the commissioning of the secretariat of the Delta State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and while thanking the Governor for the cordial relationship that had existed between him and the Labour union in the state, pledged the support of NULGE in assisting the administration fulfil its workers and people oriented policies in the state.

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