Teryima Andrew, Jos
Plateau state government said the ongoing economic recession in Nigeria has greatly affected the state in meeting up its financial demands.
“Given this background and the situation in which we presently found ourselves, the 50 percent (N1,694,916,940.34) proportion of the 2nd tranche due for payment of the salaries/pension cannot even offset the current outstanding overdraft balance of N1,960,778,585.86, talk more of paying the July salaries and pension in the average of 2.25 billion.”
Permanent secretary, ministry of finance Alhaji Sani Yahaya, made the revelation to Journalists on Thursday, in Jos, in a press briefing at the state Secretariat, explaining how the Paris/London club refund recently released to the state was shared.
Alhaji Yahaya said the sum of five billion, six hundred and forty four million, seventy nine thousand and fifty five naira fourty one kobo was accrued to Plateau state from the Paris/London club refund.
The financial expert stressed further that “to this end, a committee has been constituted to ascertain the true beneficiaries and work out modalities for payment within the shortest possible time.”
He lamented that the state have been borrowing to pay salaries “our rescue leader (Gov Lalong) in his usual magnanimity and passion for the welfare of its workforce and pensioners directed that we (Ministry of Information) source for the sum of N3,400,000,000.00 to offset the arrears of salaries which were all paid in December, 2016.”
Also speaking at the event, state Accountant General Mr. Christopher Tsenyin, noted that monthly wage bill of Plateau state has drastically increased due to political appointments made by the governor.
He said the inclusion of some civil servants, pensioners on the pay roll of government and offsetting of debts inherited from the previous administration.
It is on record that Governor Simon Lalong, in March 2017 appointed 170 Special Assistants from the 17 local government areas of the state, thereby increasing wage bill of the state.
He disclosed that Plateau state government since inception into office two years ago, has incurred a debt of 42 billion Naira to service the state financially.