———By Unue Emeka———-
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Mr Charles Aniagwu has explained how the Delta State Government spent the N10bn it recently received from the Federal government as part of the Paris Club excess loan deduction refunds.
According to the governor spokesman, Local Governments in the state were given N2.1bn out of the N10b as their statutory share, while about N5b was set aside to settle certain issues relating to certain aspect of salary arrears, co-operative deductions and pensions.
He added that the sum of N2bn plus was earmarked for priority projects that require urgent attention and payment of contractors.
Aniagwu stated this on Monday while answering questions on ‘Trend talk’ a Radio Programme on Trend 100.9Fm Asaba.
He noted that the Okowa led administration was committed to the prudent, transparent and accountable management of the state’s resources just as he is committed to taking decisions that will be in the best interest of the people.
“Governor Okowa has vowed to remain prudent, transparent and accountable to the people because he realises that the ultimate political power rests on the people who overwhelmingly voted him into office”.
“He has assured that Deltans will get value for every money that accrues to the state at all times.
While answering questions bothering on the payment of local government workers salaries, Aniagwu stated that the local governments are a separate tier of government, adding that the State Government is not responsible for the payment of their salaries.
“Even though we assisted them in the past, we couldn’t continue in the present economic circumstance as we have our own challenges because a man cannot give what he doesn’t have”.
Justifying the setting aside of about N3bn for infrastructure and payment of contractors, Aniagwu stressed that government exists for everybody and not just for the payment of salaries of workers which are less than 2 percent of the population of the state.
“If the government spends virtually all that comes to pay salaries of workers, what happens to the larger chunk of the population? He queried.
He assured that the State Government with the support from the Nigeria Society of Engineers will tackle headlong the flooding of Asaba while also reiterating the government’s commitment to completing the Okpanam road, DLA and Mariam Babangida roads.