Governors have no excuse not to pay salaries – Okonjo Iweala

okonjo-iweala

A total of 18 governors have been unable to pay

civil servants, citing the deduction in allocation

based on dwindling oil prices.

But Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, outgoing Minister of finance and coordinating Minister for the economy says the allocation given to states in the last 4 years is sufficient to cater for their responsibilities, Salaries inclusive.

Adams Oshiomhole, governor of Edo, which is

not among the states indebted to its workers,

alleged on Wednesday that Okonjo-Iweala had

mismanaged the economy and that $30 billion

got missing under her watch.

But the minister dismissed the allegation,

saying she was being targeted for making

Nigerians know the actual situation of things.

“It is no surprise that a few days after the

federal ministry of finance published the details

of what the federal and state governments

received from the excess crude account over

the past four years, Governor Adams

Oshiomhole of Edo state has launched an

attack against the coordinating minister for the

economy and minister of finance, Dr. Ngozi

Okonjo-Iweala,” read a statement issued by

Paul Nwabuikwu, special adviser to Okonjo-

Iweala on media.

“His article ‘Economy: Okonjo-Iweala’s hidden

figures’ is full of gaping holes, both in facts and

logic.

“Obviously, for daring to publish how the ECA

was shared and showing that governors who

cannot pay salaries have no excuses, Okonjo-

Iweala is being targeted. It is noteworthy that

several of their colleagues have been able to

manage their finances reasonably well under

these same difficult circumstances.

“The release of the ECA details has also

demonstrated very clearly that there is no

substance in the wild allegations that any

money is missing from the account or that

finances of the country under Okonjo-Iweala’s

watch have not been well-managed.”

The statement accused Oshiomhole of making

the allegation with the intention to divert

attention from issues relating to how governors

spent the resources of their states.

“Like previous baseless allegations by some

governors, the motive behind Oshiomhole’s

attack is clear: to deflect public attention away

from the manner in which they have run the

finances of their states and make Okonjo-

Iweala the scapegoat. If it was meant to

intimidate the minister, it has failed abysmally,”

he said.

“How can Governor Oshiomhole claim that

state governors were not properly briefed on

the status of the ECA when his commissioner of

finance attends all the FAAC meetings where

decisions are taken and communicated to the

nation?

“This diversionary tactic will not succeed

because Nigerians are too smart to buy into

this fiction. Secondly, the finance ministry

under Okonjo-Iweala, the minister who started

the practice of publishing details of allocations

from the federation account to all the three tiers

of government, has regularly furnished

Nigerians with information on the country’s

finances.

“Oshiomhole’s allegation that the minister is

involved in ‘an unholy alliance’ with government

agencies and the marketers is therefore

manifestly untrue and totally irresponsible. How

can a minister against whom the oil marketers

have conducted a very public campaign of

calumny be in league with them? A decent

public official should not make such scurrilous

and unsubstantiated statements.

“The most laughable part of Oshiomhole’s

article is the claim that Okonjo-Iweala has been

speaking out lately because of the ‘fear of

Buhari’. Nigerians know this is ridiculous. If

there is any minister whose voice has been

strong on the right issues over the past four

years it is Okonjo-Iweala. Okonjo-Iweala

combines a stalwart integrity, a mastery of her

mandate and the courage of her convictions.

She therefore has no reason to fear. Those who

cannot adequately explain what they did with

the resources of their states and are begging

for bailout are those who should to be scared.”

States owing salaries are Abia, Akwa Ibom,

Bauchi, Benue, Cross river, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa,

Kano, Kastina, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo,

Pleateu, Rivers, and Zamfara.

Credits : Thecable & Thenationonline

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