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24 Oct 2018

I Can't Spend All Of Ondo State's Funds On Paying Workers, Says Akeredolu

Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State, has dared civil servants in the state to drag him to any anti-graft agency if they have evidence that he has received the last tranche of the Paris Club Refund from the Federal Government.

Akeredolu spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Wednesday in his response to the allegation that his administration had received the last tranche of the Paris Club Refund but had refused to disburse it.

Last week, the workers had joined pensioners in a protest to demand payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances. The workers shut down all the routes to the Governor's office accused Akeredolu of conniving with the Account-General of the state to fix the sum of over N20 billion paid by the Federal Government as the last tranche of Paris fund in a private account.

However, the Governor denied the allegation, stating that the state government had not received last tranche of the Paris Club Refund. He challenged the organised labour leaders in the state to provide evidence that the Paris Club Refund was fixed into a private account to yield interest.

"It has been rumoured that I have fixed the Paris Club refund. It is not true and no Governor can fix that money. We have not received the money. I challenge anyone to tell the whole world where or the bank which we have fixed the money (Paris fund)," he said.

"We need to take care of other people in the state, because we are working for all the people of the state and there is need to develop the state in terms of roads and other infrastructural development.

“We cannot expend all the money accruing to the state to pay salaries of workers. We cannot do more than our capacity, because we have other things to attend to."

The Governor explained that his government would continue to place premium on the welfare of the civil servants in the state, adding that since he became Governor he has not owed any salary.

He also assured the civil servants that they would receive their "leave bonus" from the government this week.

"I have been paying their salaries as at when due," he said. "Even the eight months owned by the last administration, I have paid part of it. But let me assure that we would pay civil servants their leave bonuses before the end of this week."

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