A director with the Kogi State government, whose wife gave birth to triplets in Abuja, allegedly commits suicide because he is owed 11 months salary, among thousands who are said to be owed between four to 21 months salaries.
The Governor, Yahaya Bello, says it is not true, insisting he is owing workers in the state for only two months.
To prove his point, he spends tens of millions to place a 70-paged advert in a newspaper to fulfil a promise he made to publish the list of those who have taken salaries so far.
Most government offices are in a lock-down because civil servants are protesting non-payment of their salaries.
Only management staff in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies report to and mostly lounge the working hours away. Bello says workers report daily for work. He may be right from what he sees, because most workers in his office and that of his deputy report for work daily. They are considered essential services staff, and do not dare keep away from work for fear of being replaced.
Enter the Senate, which has not hidden its disdain for the Governor because members, or some members, believe he is the one behind moves to unseat a staunch loyalist of Senate President Bukola Saraki, Dino Melaye, through a well orchestrated recall process.
The lawmakers donate 1,260 bags of ricde to the suffering Kogi workers.
For what looks like a kind gesture Senators were on Thursday berated by the National Youth Council of Nigeria.
Meantime, the State government has released details of what it got from Abuja under the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) monthly disbursements.
The Chairman of the Kogi chapter, Mr Oladele Nihi on Thursday in Lokoja, frowned at the donation Dino Melaye and 40 others made., wondering why Kogi State was singled out of all the states owing workers.
“We see these actions and reactions of the senators as unguided and a desperate move to toy with the collective sensibility of the good people of Kogi and not only the civil servants.
“It is being orchestrated by primordial instincts to paint Kogi in the dark light for cheap and selfish political gains. It is an insult on us.
“Kogi might be feeling the brunt of the economic crisis that is currently bedevilling the whole country, but that does not mean a group of people with inordinate ambition should sit in Abuja and paint Kogi like a Somalia of some sort…
“One would expect that the Senate which is the highest law making body in the country be more decorous and fair in attending to such matters as sensitive as this.
“We expect the distinguished senators to be non partisan and fair by sending delegation to verify the true state of things before playing to the gallery,’’Nihi said in a statement.
Kogi Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development, Asiwaju Idris Asiru disclosed that the State got N3.6 billion statutory allocation for September, but was not specific on how much will go for off-setting workers’ pay.
His statement reads: As one of the few states that have fully operated the Open Governance Initiative, Kogi State has continued to show a New Direction of accountable governance and transparency.
“To this end, the Kogi State Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has once again, laid open the allocations from the Federation Account for the month of September 2017 for both the State Government and the Local Government Councils.
“”The Monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for the month of September was held in Abuja on 24th Oct,2017. To further demonstrate the ideology of transparency, efficiency and accountability which the New direction government stands for, we have decided to make the allocation public.
“The state net statutory allocation for the month of September is N2,414,041,323.57 as against N3,338,804,388.52 received for the month of August.
“The value added tax(VAT) for the month of September is N849,499,135.14 as against N909,135,970.86 received in the month of August.
“The foreign exchange(FOREX) difference for the month of June,July and August are N126,669,641, N95,234,355.50 and N136,371,848.87 respectively.
“Therefore, the state gross statutory distributable income for the month of September is N3,621,816,304.48
“The 21 local government areas in Kogi state received a net statutory allocation of N2,108,047,024.91 for the month of September as against N2,892,258.28 received last month.
“The Value added tax(VAT) for the month of september is N582,387,195.64 as against N620,482,976.92 received for the month of August.
“Also the foreign exchange(FOREX) difference for the month of June, July and August are N95,093,499.53,N71,494,385.23 and N102,377,145.81 respectively.
“Also,the LGA gross statutory allocation is 2,959,399,251.12
“Conclusively,there was a decrease in gross statutory revenue of N626,124,654.90 and N553,342,409.08 for the state and local government respectively for the month of September compared to the previous month of August.
“To further proof our genuineness to curb corruption in the state civil service and onslaught against ghost workers,as a state we shall continually make public the updated list of paid workers. Also shall continue to publish revelations from the staff verification exercise, including certificate status of the civil servants whose certificates and other official documents were duly verified.”