Bail-Out Funds: Delta Never Withheld Nor Diverted Funds –Ukah    ***As ICPC Report Clears Delta

Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) – 20140305173328-delta_state-final
Delta State Government has released an in-depth analysis of how the bail out funds from the federal government for the settlement of arrears of workers’ salaries and emoluments were effectively used.

Although it expressed dismay over claims made by certain newspaper publications on “How States spent Their Bail-out Funds”, the state government insisted that the newspaper reports were based on a stale update.

A comprehensive analysis carried out by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in conjunction with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), however absolved Delta state of any complicity, having complied with the directives of the Federal Government by providing succour for the workers.

The analysis released by the ICPC and signed by its Commissioner for Public Enlightenment, indicated that “Delta State has a total debt value accrued from Staff salaries and emoluments of N36,417,217,601.53. The State was granted N10,936,799,299.36 as bailout fund and disbursed N8,129,888,279.86 with a balance of N2,806,9I1,019.50. However, the state claimed not to owe salaries as at 24th November, 2015.”

A statement signed by the Delta state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah and made available to Blank NEWS Online therefore reads:

“The attention of Delta State Government has been drawn to a news report published on pages three and nine of the Nation Newspaper of Saturday “April 23, 2016 edition titled: “How States spent Their Bail-out Funds”. We thereby wish to state, as follows;

1. The state government received the sum of N10,936,799.36 as bailout funds for salaries on 21/9/2015.

2. Following the monitoring of the utilization of funds by the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission(ICPC), the state received a letter dated 12/10/2015 with a questionnaire attached requesting for details of funds utilized. In the response to the ICPC dated 15/10/2015, the state declared that the sum of N8,129,888,279.86 was expended with a balance of N2,806,911,019.50.

3. The balance of N2, 806,911,019.50 as at 31/12/2015 has been applied as follows:
(a) N2, 000, 000, 000 to the State Pension Bureau to reduce the state’s liability to pensioners.

(b) The sum of N806,911,019.50 was used for the payment of Primary school teachers’ salaries.

4. It is pertinent to note that since January, 2016, the state has not received any request of update on the position of the disbursement of funds from the ICPC.

5. It is therefore necessary to state that the aforementioned newspaper report was based on a stale update.”

Blank NEWS Online reveals that a breakdown of the ICPC analysis indicates that out of the 27 states that applied for the fund, only 23 had been paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria as at the end of December 2015.

The benefiting states are: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ekiti, Katsina, Gombe, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Plateau, Sokoto, Kwara, Bayelsa, Imo, Enugu, Oyo, Delta, Kebbi and Zamfara.
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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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