By: Valentine Adese, Alfred Saiki and Chizoba Nnabugwu,
To show its commitment to transparency, the Plateau State Government led by Governor Simon Bako Lalong, has told the people of the state that, the state government has received the sum of N5, 644, 079, 055.41, being the second tranche of the Paris/London Club Refund, from the Federal Government of Nigeria.The state government made this disclosure today, through the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Finance, Mr. Sani A. Yahaya in a press briefing at the Conference Hall of the Ministry.
Flanked by other senior staff of the Ministry, Mr. Sani said the money was received by the state government on 17th July, 2017 but that, despite the money, the state is still faced with more financial challenges.
According to the Press briefing text sharing formula, which is in line with, the Federal government’s guideline and condition, the State Government and the 17 Local Government Areas in the state would share as follows:
1. State share (60. 06%) = N3, 389, 833, 880. 68
2. 17 LGAs (39.94%) = N2, 254, 245, 174.73
Further component breakdown, shows the following:
A. State Share =N3, 389, 833, 880 .68
i. Salaries/Pension (50%) =N1, 694, 916, 940. 34
ii. Capital/Recurrent Exp. (50%) = N1,694, 916, 940. 34
B. 17 LGAs Share =N2, 254, 245, 174. 73
i. Salaries/ Pension (50%) =N1, 127, 122, 587. 37
ii. Capital/Recurrent Exp. (50%) =N1, 127, 122, 587 .37
The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sani, however, added that, the State Government has been running the state partly with the assistance of Overdrafts from Banks since inception of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) administration in the state and that the amount of the second tranche due for the payment of Salaries/ Pensions is not even enough to offset the current balance sum of N1, 960, 778, 585. 86, being overdraft, talk more of paying Salaries for July, 2017.
“Permit me at this junction to draw your attention to the fact that the Monthly salaries of the state workforce and Pensioners is in the average of N2.25 billion.
“Mindful of Government’s uncompromising determination and obligation in bettering the welfare of its workers and pensioners as at when due and other competing demands amidst the lean resources, the State Government is left with no option than to rely solely on Bank Overdraft to meet up with these challenges.
“As at today, we have an overdraft (debt) balance of the sum of One Billion, Nine Hundred and sixty Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Eight Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty-Five Naira, Eighty-Six Kobo (N1, 960, 778, 585. 86) only, that has to be settled before the end of this month.
“Given this background and the situation in which we presently found ourselves, the 50% (N1,694, 916, 940. 34) proportion of the 2nd tranche due for payment of the salaries/pension cannot even offset the current outstanding overdraft balance of N1, 960, 778, 585. 86, talk more of paying the July salaries and pension in the average of N2.25billion.