Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has explained how the State spent its N10 billion of the Paris Club refund it recently received from the Federal Government.
He made the explanation Monday in Asaba, the State capital, while answering questions on “Trend Talk,” talk show, on Trend 100.9 FM.
Okowa, who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, disclosed that out of the N10 billion, Local Governments in the State were given N2.1 billion as their statutory share, while about N5 billion was set aside to settle certain issues relating to salary arrears, co-operative deductions and pensions.
He further disclosed that the sum of N2 billion was earmarked for priority projects that required urgent attention and payment of contractors.
The governor noted that his administration was committed to the prudent, transparent and accountable management of the state’s resources just as he is committed to taking decisions that will be in the best interest of the people.
“Governor Okowa has vowed to remain prudent, transparent and accountable to the people because he realises that the ultimate political power rests on 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,” the Governor’s spkoesman said.
While answering questions bothering on the payment of local government workers’ salaries, Aniagwu stated that the local governments were a separate tier of government, adding that the state government was not responsible for the payment of their salaries.
He said: “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.”
Commenting the setting aside of about N3 billion for infrastructure and payment of contractors, Aniagwu stressed that government existed for everybody and not just for the payment of salaries of workers which are less than 2 percent of the population of the state.
“If the government spends virtually all that comes to pay salaries of workers, what happens to the larger chunk of the population?” he queried.