The Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, said on Thursday that the state government was using N840 million monthly to service loans inherited from past administrations in the state.
Mr Kolawole revealed this in Lokoja, the state capital at a media parley with members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He said amount was sourced from the state’s allocation from the Federation Account.
According to him, the Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration inherited huge debts from loans obtained by previous administrations in the state.
Mr Kolawole said the loans accrued during the tenure of Idris Wada, when the amount for servicing was about N700 million.
The speaker said that the amount increased to N840 million with the loans obtained by the regime before the present administration.
He explained that the debt servicing had adversely affected the payment of workers’ salaries and the overall development of the state.
Mr Kolawole said Mr Bello’s administration inherited four months’ salary arrears owed to state government workers, and 34 months arrears owed local government workers.
He maintained that while the immediate past administration paid between 25 and 30 per cent of local government workers’ salaries, the current regime had been paying 65 per cent of the salaries.
“The governor is presently working out plans to clear all outstanding salaries owed to state government workers in the next two months.
“It is not easy to run a state like Kogi with a huge debt profile, and so Gov. Bello is doing his best to uplift the living standard of its inhabitants,” he said
Mr Kolawole said the state government would soon create over 10, 000 job opportunities through the Omi Rice project which would be inaugurated in the next two months.
On his recent reelection to represent the Kabba-Bunu State Constituency at the state assembly, Mr Kolawole said he owed his victory to God Almighty and his constituents.
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