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Ondo: We spent 13% derivation refunds on salary arrears, road projects

Ondo: We spent 13% derivation refunds on salary arrears, road projects
December 04
10:43 2022

Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo state governor, says the state spent its share of 13 percent derivation refunds on infrastructure projects and payment of salary arrears. 

Richard Olatunde, his chief press secretary, made this known in a statement over the weekend. 

The presidency had disclosed that Ondo received N19.4 billion as 13 percent oil derivation, subsidy and SURE-P refunds from the federation account between 2021 and 2022.

The governor, who listed some of the projects, said the refunds were expended on road projects across the state and payment of accumulated salary arrears.

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“Some of the impactful projects undertaken and completed by this administration include the rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of the 32.6km Araromi-Alape road in Ilaje Local Government Area; 16.65km Ikaramu-Akunnu-chainnage 7-Oke Agbe Road in Akoko Northwest Local Government Area; 4.5km Agadagba Obon-New Ajapa Road in Ese-Odo Local Government Area; 3.0km Oke Igbo Township roads, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Area, among others,” the statement reads. 

“Recently, the governor commenced the rehabilitation of over 35 kilometres of network of roads in Akure, the state capital. The roads being rehabilitated are the existing ones built by past governments several years ago and which are already in bad shape with potholes and failed sections. The 9.5km Emure- Iporo Road and rehabilitation of 15.2 Akure phase “D” networks have all begun.

“The 10km Okitipupa-Igbokoda virgin road, which will be commissioned by the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is another evidence of Governor Akeredolu’s commitment to infrastructural development. These intensive capital projects are financed from these refunds and Internally Generated Revenue.

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“The monthly FAAC receipts are devoted to the payment of salaries and pensions as agreed by Labour Leaders at the monthly meetings presided over by the Head of Service and Chairman of Joint Negotiating Council (JNC).

“Despite Governor Akeredolu’s vow to always pay salaries and pensions as and when due, the financial crisis across the country occasioned by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic resulted in non-payment of salaries in full for some months. As at January 2022, Government was owing four months salary arrears as against seven months inherited.

“Governor Akeredolu, having promised the civil servants in the state to prioritise payment of salaries, has continued to clear these backlogs of arrears. On three occasions this year, the government has paid double salaries in a month, thereby reducing the number of arrears. All salaries will be cleared before the year ends.

“If the amount expended on these infrastructural projects and payment of salary arrears is juxtaposed with the refunds, it is crystal clear that the monies were not mismanaged in Ondo state.

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“The administration of Governor Akeredolu stands on the tripod of transparency, accountability and integrity. We will continue to hoist the flag of transparency in governance while pursuing excellence in the journey to transform the state for the better.”

On the allegation that some governors are stealing local government funds, the governor said his administration had not touched funds meant for local governments since its inception.

“As a matter of policy, monies meant for local governments are shared at their monthly Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC),” it said. 

Recently, Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, challenged other governors in the Niger Delta region to account for refunds received from Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

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Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and others have acknowledged receipt of the refund.

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