The war of words between the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and his immediate predecessor, Ayodele Fayose over the financial status of the state is yet to abate, as the governor has again accused the ex-governor of plundering the N18 billion Paris club refund to the state.
Fayemi expressed worries over how Fayose, who owed between four and eight months salary and pension arrears, could not defray the backlog of workers’ benefit with such humongous amount of money but rather preferred to divert it for other use.
The governor said he had not reneged on his avowed commitment to offset all the outstanding salaries and pension entitlements before marking the first year in office.
On the increasing wave of kidnappings in the state, Fayemi said he had started giving incentives to security outfits in the state to be able to ensure safety of lives and property, adding that he was strategizing with the state’s security chiefs on how to erect a unique security architecture for Ekiti residents to be safe during the yuletide.
Fayemi spoke in Ado Ekiti on Sunday evening while appearing on the December edition of a programme tagged: ‘Meet your Governor’.
Addressing the rumour milling rounds that he had collected a sum of N11.5 billion Paris Club barely two months he assumed office, Fayemi said: “Let those making the allegation came with verifiable proofs to substantiate their claim. Let them come with evidence.
“I have not collected any money in the fashion of road intervention or Paris club refund. Governor Fayose had the opportunity of paying bulk of these backlog of salaries and pensions. He collected a sum of N18b out of the N21.5b due to Ekiti in the fund, so what is left for Ekiti is just N3.5b which can’t pay a month if we add the overhead costs of subvented institutions.
“As we speak, we are doing a lot of cleansing and that had reduced the monthly pay to workers to N2.1b. Those not properly employed had been left out until they provide evidence. The medical workers that were employed on consequential ground had been reabsorbed.
“I decided to delay appointment of politicians into government for me to be able to pay our workers. With this, Ekiti can now know who is the real and honest friend of the masses.
“I don’t want to do media trial for anyone, so I have hired the services of a renowned audit firm to look into our finances and the forensic state’s accounts will be published during our 100 days in office in January, 2019”, he said.
He said the state anti-grazing law signed into law by Fayose’s administration has not been suspended, clarifying that efforts will be made to rein in rampaging herders in the state, by not being tolerated to carry assorted rifles.
“The ultimate aim of any government is to make people safe. We are not going to tolerate kidnapping here, that is not what we are. We are also going to protect our farmers against invaders.
“We are giving incentives to security to be able to deliver. It was the same hilux vans that we gave to the police that are still being used and the three Armoured Personnel Carriers, nothing was added under Fayose”, he alleged.
Fayemi said his government has paid the West African Examinations
Council (WAEC) fee for all SS3 students in the state as part of his commitment to free education. He also warned that any principal found collecting illegal money in public schools will have himself to blame.
“But let me clarify here, it was only the N500 per term for primary and N1000 for secondary development fee introduced by Fayose that was abrogated. Any other fee agreed by the school including money for uniforms would be paid by parents,” he clarified.