The Ogun State Finance Commissioner, Mr. Wole Oshinowo, yesterday appeared before the state House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation to brief it on the financial health of the state.
The committee had sought to know why the state as of now had not used the N17.3 Paris Club refund received from the Federal Government to pay the arrears of its workers’ allowances as well as gratuities and “deductions” as pledged.
Also, there had been strong speculations that the Paris Club fund sent to the state government had been seized by a particular bank (name withheld) to offset a debt the government owed it.
But Oshinowo dispelled the rumour, saying that the fact of the matter was that the government had returned the Paris Club money to the Federal Government based on request.
Besides, the commissioner had during a media briefing organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) under the auspices of Joint Negotiation Council (JAC) said that N10 billion, representing 60 per cent of the N17.3 billion, would be spent on workers’ co-operative deductions, gratuity, severance packages and furniture allowance, while the balance of N7.3 billion would go into social services. But the pledge is yet to be fulfilled.
He dispelled the rumour that the funds had been trapped in a bank over unpaid loan, saying: “Actually, the funds were recalled due to some certain parameters that must be fulfilled before it will be returned to individual states but that parameters and conditions have been met now, which we did with the local chapter of the NLC in Ogun State.
I am sure that before the end of the week or early next week, the fund is likely to be with us.”
Ogun Assembly quizzes finance commissioner on state’s financial health