The Ogun State Government on Wednesday denied diverting the bailout funds from the Federal Government.
The government, however, insisted that the money was wholly committed to the payment of arrears of salaries and the co-operative deductions to all categories of its workers.
The Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa stated this today in Abeokuta at separate meetings with the Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) and the leadership of the State chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in his office.
Adeoluwa, who expressed surprise at the insinuations in some quarters that part of the funds, especially those due to the local government councils had been diverted, blamed the development on the communication gap existing between the state government and the local government administrators,
He added that the anti-graft agencies, particularly the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), which monitored the disbursement across the country, gave the state a clean bill of health after the exercise.
The SSG disclosed that contrary to the rumour, government had to take funds elsewhere to augment the bailout to the councils.
“What was due to local government councils from the total package we got was N9.1billion, from which we promptly cleared arrears of salaries, cooperative deductions of primary school teachers and Local Government staff.
“We are clear in our mind that not a dime from the money was used for anything else other than local government administration. We used bailout funds wholly to discharge the obligations we got if for”, he said.
He explained that the confusion arose because the total amount of money then outstanding to local government workers was far more than that of the other categories of workers, resulting in a situation where the council workers got less than what their colleagues were paid.
Adeoluwa, who noted that the meeting was at the instance of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, challenged local government authorities to leverage on their individual strengths to boost their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), rather than relying absolutely on Federal Allocation.
Speakers at the two meetings, including the NULGE State President, Ayuba Olatunji commended the government for the initiative, adding that such interface was long overdue.
According to them, if the meeting had been put in place before now, a lot of issues would have been resolved before they degenerated into needless controversies.