Why we can’t pay salaries regularly – Yahaya Bello

Kogi state government has attributed N500 million it used in servicing debts portfolio of the state monthly to its inability to pay workers’ salaries regularly.

The director of Media and Publicity to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo disclosed this on Sunday.

Fanwo, who blamed the two previous administrations for obtaining the loans, which he said were used on projects that add no value to the state.

“Sometimes, we repay between N400 million and N500 million monthly as loans that add no value to the state,” he told NAN.

“These loans were taken by the last two administrations and some of them were invested in projects that were never completed.

“When you go out, you will see Kogi Hotels, billions of naira was collected for that project and it was not completed, and it is not adding any value to the state.

“Also, the Kogi House in Abuja has gulped billions of naira, yet, it is not completed, not adding any value to the state.”

Giving more pictures on the financial liability it inherited, Fanwo mentioned a N20 million Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) facility accessed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but which was misused by the previous administration.

“There is no record of anybody given loan and now we are repaying. So all of these have taken its toll on the resources and finances of the state,” he pointed out.

“We cannot shy away from the fact that the resources that are coming to the state now have dwindled due to the loans we are repaying.

“It is increasingly difficult to muster enough resources to pay salaries regularly. As I speak with you, we are still owing March and April salaries.”

Fanwo said Kogi state has the highest wage bill in the North Central zone, dismissing insinuations that it (Kogi) owed workers 24 months of salary as bailout were used to clear some backlogs.

He said: “When you do a comparative analysis of wages in the north-central geopolitical zone, Kogi pays the highest and despite that, we have been very faithful.

“The bailout funds were not gifts from the federal government, it was more or less a loan, so you have to prioritise what you use your bailout funds for.

“So, we used it basically for salaries and we were the only state in the federation that published how we used that bailout funds.”

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