Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has promised to clear the backlog of salaries owed civil servants and pension arrears of retirees this month.
Governor Bello, who sympathised with workers and pensioners over their plight, also promised to commence prompt payment of salaries from January 2018.
He made this comment yesterday at the commemoration of the 110th birthday of the Odeyani-Anebira, Alhaji Audu Otonoku and his eight years on the throne as the Otonoku in Lokoja.
Bello told the state’s civil servants, “I acknowledge your contributions to our growth and so I am saying that from January next year, we shall be paying all our cleared civil servants’ salaries as and when due.”
He also promised that “good days are coming to the people of Kogi.”
The governor traced the genesis of the delay in the payment of workers’ salaries to huge debts which, he claimed, his administration inherited from the immediate past administration.
According to him, the corruption in the state civil service and the need to restore sanity to the service also accounted for the delay.
“It wasn’t intentional. We just needed to resolve pressing issues,” he said.
Bello, who was represented by Mr Mumuni Okara, his special adviser on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said that the state government had done a lot to restore discipline to the civil service.
He also noted that the state government had increased its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N350 million monthly to N1.2 billion.
In his remarks, the commissioner for finance, Idris Asiru, said that the state government had discovered and eliminated from the payroll over 2,000 names of workers with fake certificates.
Asiru further revealed that the state government needed N30 billion to clear the salaries and arrears of all workers that have been cleared.
He said that the governor had given him a directive to source for fund for the payment, assuring the workers that he would carry out the governor’s directive.
Earlier, the Odeyani-Anebira, had commended Bello for his “giant strides in security, infrastructure development and civil service reform aimed at sanitising the service.’’ (NAN)