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Friday, 5 January 2018

Kogi Incurs N10bn Debt to Offset Salary Arrears – Bello

Kogi Incurs N10bn Debt to Offset Salary Arrears – Bello

* Introduces Clock-in Device to Check Ghost Workers
Yahaya Bello

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on Friday, disclosed that he sourced for N10 billion loan in addition to the N1.2 billion the state got from the Paris Club refund to offset four months salary arrears owed workers.

The Governor however kept mum on how and where the loans were sourced from.

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According to him, workers in the state have been placed on earn-as-you-work basis as they would be required to log in their attendance at resumption and closure of work places through a clock-in device.

He said at the end of each month the device will be used to compute the salary each worker earned and that would determine his or her pay.

He told State House correspondents of this development after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

“In Kogi State today we are up to date as far as salary is concerned. In the month of December like Mr. President magnanimously assisted us with another tranche of Paris Club Refund, our own figure was N1.2 billion and some other change on top.

“We didn’t just stopped at that, we borrowed up to N10 billion and we added November/December allocation to our figures and we were able to clear four months at a stretch before Christmas and some leftovers were cleared before this January in Kogi State.

“As you all know, the salary was very bogus and according to the figure we had, we were able to distribute it among these months. So glory to God as far as Kogi State is concerned.

“Moving forward from this January, we have decided that we are going to make use of our clock-in device for every civil servants in Kogi state both at local and state levels. So that as you come to work and clock-in, that is exactly how your salary will end generated.

“It is online, it is automated so nobody is going to cheat anybody. That is how we are going to go in the state so Kogi state civil servants, pensioners are all happy with this administration. Thanks to God and Mr. President for this magnanimity,” Bello revealed.

Prior to Gov Bello’s intervention, a top director in the Kogi State civil service, Edward Soje, committed suicide over salary arrears he was being owed.

Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Kogi State University chapter had also downed tools owing to salary related issues in the better part of 2017.

Bello also commented on the 2019 presidential race, saying All Progressive Congress in Kogi would deliver the state to Buhari at the appointed time.

He said a lot of decampees have defected from the PDP to the ruling APC in recent times, noting that Katsina may not be able to measure up to standard in terms of votes for the President in 2019.

He said, “I’m sure you are following us as we are receiving decampees from PDP and all other political parties. Any time we hold any decamping rally in any local government you will see the mammoth crowd that turns out.

“So Kogi State has already endorsed President Buhari for second term, we are just waiting for the time to come. You are going to see the votes that will come out of Kogi State, it will dwarf that of Katsina State; I can assure you.”

On kidnapping, Bello said the trend has now been curtailed to a manageable level, except of minor crimes.

“In the months of November, December and this January, there has not been any single case of armed robbery, kidnapping even mere stealing.

“One attempt was made, as I speak the DSS in collaboration with Army and Police have apprehended a particular gang that attempted to snatch a vehicle from a citizen. The security operatives are collaborating with us, we are spending a lot on security.

“So collaboration between the security agencies and understanding by the people, they are giving us a lot of information and we are treating them with utmost secrecy and we are working harmoniously together.

“Let me digress, the Fulanis in Kogi State are equally collaborating with us even the criminal elements amongst them they are the ones even apprehending them and handing them over to the security agencies.

“So we are living very harmoniously with the Fulani herdsmen, farmers and the citizens. Travelers are safe day and night because anywhere you go you see security operatives and we have even vigilantes, hunters that are equally assisting us in our farms and so many other deserted areas. So Kogi is very safe,” he stated.

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