Ekiti Govt Receives N3.9bn Paris Club Refund, Pays Salary Arrears
The Ekiti State government has received N3.9 billion from the Federal Government as the last tranche of its Paris Club refund.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Yinka Oyebode, revealed this in a statement on Thursday.
He added that N3.3billion was also deducted and paid as outstanding 2016- 2018 counterpart fund for Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) being owed by the state, as directed by the President.
Upon receiving the refund on Thursday, Oyebode disclosed that Governor Kayode Fayemi had consequently directed that the N3.9billion Paris Club refund be applied to pay one month of outstanding arrears to state and local government workers, teachers, and pensioners.
He explained that this was in line with the governor’s promise to workers and people of the state, noting that it would be done with augmentation from internal savings.
According to the statement, the Paris Club refund was received following President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention in the matter, after Governor Fayemi’s visit to the President last week.
“Governor Fayemi expressed appreciation to the President for the timely intervention, having assured workers in the state that his administration would explore all avenues to clear the five to eight months’ salary arrears owed workers in the state by the immediate past administration, within a reasonable period,” the statement said.
“Dr Fayemi, had while fielding questions during the monthly “Meet Your Governor” programme on television and radio last week re-assured workers that he was yet to receive the Paris Club refund, adding that he would make it public once the state received the payment.”
Oyebode claimed that the immediate past administration of Mr Ayodele Fayose had received a total of N18.34 billion Paris Club refund in three tranches between December 2016 and December 2017, in addition to bailout funds, budget support funds and excess crude support, all totalling about N55 billion.
He accused the former administration of failing to utilise such on salary being owed workers and retirees.
However, the former governor has yet to counter the allegations.
The first tranche of the Paris Club refund totalling N8.87 billion, according to Fayemi’s aide, was received in December 2016 while the state also got N4.77 billion in July 2017 and another N4.7billion in December 2017.
He insisted that Governor Fayemi has assured workers in the state that his administration would not owe them salaries.
Oyebode added that the governor promised to clear outstanding salaries for all categories of workers within one year.