Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kogi State chapter has appeal the Federal Government of Nigeria to release the N30.8 billion balance of bailout fund to the state government so that, Bello can settle salaries, pensions and gratuity dept in the State.
Speaking through Kogi State chapter Association Chairman, Dr John Ibenu, said this on Tuesday in Lokoja, while making a speech to accept re-election of Governor Yahaya Bello.
He said “I want to make a special appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the outstanding balance of N30.8 billion bailout fund to enable the government meet its financial obligations to workers and pensioners.
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“The payment will help to alleviate the suffering of workers and pensioners and shore up economic activities in the state,” he said.
The Bishop, however, dismissed allegations that he was “supporting and dining with the state government in spite of her inability to pay workers’ salaries and pensions”.
“God is my witness; I have defrauded or oppressed no one. We have tried our best and our conscience is clear.
“The government can also bear witness that we have conducted ourselves as a very responsible spiritual organisation.
“We do not claim to being perfect, but we try to do our best to keep a good conscience,”.
The Chairman, after the address led it members with a prayer session of which they pleaded with God to heal, help and have mercy on Kogi, while holding and raising the state’s logo, flag and emblem as a medium of contact with God.
Responding to CAN chairman, Gov. Yahaya Bello, through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Folashade Ayoade, said that the government is trying her best to clear arrears of salaries of the original Kogi state’s workers.
N80 billion was initially applied for, by the State Governor, from the bailout fund, but Federal Government only 50.8 billion.
She said “Out of the N50.8 billion approved, only N20 billion has been released, leaving an outstanding balance of N30.8 billion.
“The N20 billion was judiciously used to pay salaries and pensions of workers; N10 billion for state workers and the other N10 billion for local government workers.
“For the sake of clarity, I want to state that Kogi government is owing between four to five months salary arrears of genuine workers, and not 30 months, as reported in some sections of the media,” he said.
Kogi report Earlier, said that "Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Edward Onoja, had said that the governor had been able to erase inequality in governance by neutralising tribal and religious differences.
Onoja added that the state government had also performed very well in uniting the people, and had excelled in the areas of security, infrastructure, health, education, civil service reforms, among others.
The chief of staff urged the media practitioners to be professional and not bias in their reportage; report that is free of sentiments and assumptions, saying the media must report what they see.
On her part, the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, appealed to the church leaders to ensure that children were taught quality doctrine inline with the precepts of God.