‘Adamawa received only N9.5b Paris club refund’

Mohammed Jibrilla Umaru Bindow

Governor didn’t accuse FG of dictation, says commissioner

The Adamawa State government has explained that it received only N9.5 billion from the Federal Government in the Paris Club refunds.The state Commissioner of Finance, Mahmood Saleh, disclosed this in Yola yesterday.

He said the explanation became necessary to clear the air on the amount it received between February and March 2017.According to him, the state government collected the refund in two batches of N4.8 billion and N4.7 billion, adding that it was “waiting to collect the second tranch like other states.”

Saleh further explained that the current arrears of salaries owed the workers were due to the failure of previous regimes to pay their emolument and the entitlement of pensioners.

He promised the state government’s readiness to comply with the Federal Government’s rules that guide the disbursement of the refunds. “We all agreed on the payment of 50 per cent salaries arrears, but in Adamawa, we adopted a 60 per cent platform, considering the huge pension arrears hanging on us,” he said.

The commissioner said the state was committed to paying the arrears of pensioners before considering the constitutional recommendation of a five-year period.Saleh disclosed that the state government was working out modalities to increase its internally generated revenue to enable it to pay salaries without waiting for the monthly federal allocation.

He urged workers to cooperate with government to make the state economically independent in the next two years.Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information,Ahmed Sajoh, said that the constitutional duties of any government was not only to pay salaries, but to provide a conducive business environment for the private sector.

“Adamawa State workers need good roads, potable water and the security of lives and property, which can only be done when funds are available,” he said.Meanwhile, Governor Muhammad Jibrila Bindow, has refuted the report credited to him on his alleged attack on the Federal Government, which was published in The Guardian of Saturday, March 25, 2017.

A statement by the state Ministry of Finance, said the headline: “Paris Club crisis, you cannot dictate to us, Bindow tells Federal Government” was misleading and not a true reflection of what happened at the press conference.

The statement said the governor is currently on official leave and was not present at the conference.According to the Commissioner of Finance, Mahmud Sali, he had while responding to a question by The Guardian reporter in Yola, said 68 per cent of the first tranche of over N9 billion Paris debt refund was used to pay salaries and pension arrears of workers in the state.

He said his explanation was to answer the complaints raised by the pensioners. The statement urged The Guardian to correct the misrepresentation, adding that the state government should be commended for adhering to the disbursement guidelines.

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