After admitting owing civil servants in Kogi State 38 months salary arrears, Governor Yahaya Bello has made a U-turn, saying he is not owing any worker a dime in his four-year tenure.
Governor Bello was however quick to add that salaries being owed workers were from the previous administrations, adding that arrangements have been concluded to clear the backlog of salaries.
Addressing journalists in Kaduna shortly after the Northern Governors’ Forum meeting on Friday, Governor Bello disclosed that his administration never owed workers.
According to him, only five months arrears is the issue, pointing out that the five months outstanding salaries was incurred by the former administration which was passed to his own administration.
He said, “What was owed by the previous administration is exactly what is being owed now. Under my watch, I m not owing a single dime but inherited liability which Mr. President has approved. As soon as we draw that we shall clear all the arrears.
“I am promising that before December, the issue of salary arrears would be a thing of the past. And even without accessing the N30.8 billion I will raise money and clear the remaining arrears”.
The governor, who expressed his commitment to removing ghost workers from the state’s civil service, hinted that the outstanding arrears were backlog from past administrations in the state.
He also hinted that the previous administration applied for N80.5 billion from the Federal Government and that President Muhammadu Buhari approved N50. 8 billion out of the money.
He said due to his prudent nature, he decided to withdraw only N20 billion which utilisation was published in national dailies including how it was shared with the local governments.
The governor said he is expecting the remaining N30,8 billion to clear the salary arrears before December.