Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state has opened up on the bail-out funds which the state was meant to receive from the federal government, and has appealed for the further release of the balance.
The controversial governor, who is renown for his vicious attacks on the Nigerian president, revealed that the state only got N9.6 billion out of the over N29 billion it applied for in the bail-out funds for states.
According to The Nation, the governor made these remarks on Monday during the opening ceremony of a two-day retreat for commissioners, permanent secretaries and heads of agencies, in Ikogosi-Ekiti.
Fayose also confirmed that out of the N5.6 billion applied for by the 16 local governments in the state, the federal government only approved N991 million.
Idowu Adelusi, the governor’s chief press secretary, who issued a statement on behalf of the governor, stated that the clarifications were necessary following rumours that the governor is deliberately refusing to pay pension arrears and gratuities of retirees.
The statement read: “You people know that I don’t hide anything from you when allocations come. We applied for N29 billion from the bail-out fund. It is to cover the August and September 2014 salary arrears left by the Fayemi government, leave bonus, pensions, gratuities and others.
“But for reasons we don’t know yet, the federal government only approved N9.6 billion for salaries leaving other issues.
“The 16 local governments applied for N5.6 billion and we did all the necessary papers and presented them to the appropriate authorities, but only N991 million was approved. We were later told by the Central Bank of Nigeria that about 14 states had similar problem with the small amount approved for local governments.
“I have since written to them to rectify the situation and I hope they will do that quickly. It is only the federal government that can explain why they only approved one item, salary, out of the many items we presented to them on the workers’ issue.
“We have nothing to hide and people should appeal to the federal government to release the money in full. We know it is a loan that we will repay with nine per cent interest.
“Last month we had a shortfall of N500 million and this month we have a shortfall of N600 million. The economy is dwindling and in bad shape and the federal government must do something about it urgently.”
The governor, who recently compared immediate past president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan to Jesus Christ, has also asked Nigerians not to politicise the death of late Chief HID Awolowo.