The financial crunch affecting state governments in the country, seems to be hitting harder than what the average Nigerian thinks, as Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, was spotted late Sunday evening at the Johannesburg International airport in South Africa, where he boarded the economy class of a waiting South African Airways flight back to Lagos, DAILY POST reports.
Fayose, who was accompanied on the trip by only one aide, was believed to have gone to South Africa to allow him an opportunity to have audience with President Muhammadu Buhari, who was also in the Southern African country.
However, when contacted by DAILY POST, Fayose’s Senior Special Assistant on New Media and Public Communication, Lere Olayinka, debunked insinuations that the governor was in South Africa to have audience with Buhari because of his insistence on nominating a minister to represent Ekiti State in the President’s cabinet.
Olayinka said: “Governor Fayose left Nigeria last week for South Africa and there is no connection whatsoever with the President’s trip. The governor went there to rest. It is also not true that the governor went to see the president in connection with ministerial nominations. He already made his position known to the President via a letter and there is no point for him to run after the president over such issues”.
Speaking on the decision of the governor to fly economy class, Olayinka said, it was the normal thing to do because of the current economic realities in the country. “You should know the financial challenges in the country. The situation is so bad that it is even becoming difficult to power the government house. The loan bond taken by the past administration in the state to execute projects that do not have any economic value on the people of the state has put the state in a difficult situation. It will be foolhardy for the governor to be living in opulence when it is difficult to pay workers’ salary”, Olayinka said.
Stressing on unpaid workers’ salaries, the governor’s spokesman said the state government only owed workers in the state for May and that it will be paid before the end of June, adding that all the state government is waiting for is the conclusion of the ongoing workers verification exercise.