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Amosun, Isiaka feud over the Ogun finances

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Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship candidate in next Saturday’s election, Prince Gboyega Isiaka have traded words over the true financial situation of the State.

While Isiaka is insisting that the State is broke and can no longer meet its financially obligations, the Governor said the allegation is total falsehood and baseless.

The duo are top contenders in Saturday’s election.

Isiaka, in a statement on Friday had accused the government of plunging the State’s economy into crisis due to his profligacy, saying the government mismanagement of the State’s resources is “unprecedented”

The statement, signed by the Director of Media and Publicity of Isiaka Campaign Organisation, Mr. Ifekayode Akinbode in Abeokuta alleged that the government owe its workers six months of salary deductions from their co-operative societies “And 28 months of unremitted pensions”.

Besides, Isiaka said the government could no more honour its commitment to bank loans saying despite of all these, the government “shopped for N2.5billion loan to pacify workers and use the rest to buy votes.”

But the State government in its response debunked the allegations describing them as “Lies from pit of hell”.

Amosun had on, Thursday announced the release of N1.5billion to offset the deductions the government effected from the workers salaries and co-operative societies.

Isiaka in his statement described the gesture as “Greek gift” designed by Amosun to pacify the workers to win their votes in Saturday’s election.

The Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun who spoke at a Press
Conference in Abeokuta yesterday insisted that prior to the downturn of oil prices, resulting in dwindling Federal allocation to the States, the government had a record of meeting its financial obligations, including those “inherited from previous administration as and when due”.

She explained that despite the fact that the implementation of the minimum wage raised the salary bill from N4billion to N6.2billion, the government had been able to pay salary promptly up to date.

Explaining what led to the deductions, Adeosun said “Prior to October
2014 and the global fall in oil prices, Ogun State Government had a stellar record of meeting all its financial obligations including those inherited from the previous administration as and when due”.

“Indeed, we paid salary deduction for 41 consecutive months including
three months left unpaid by the previous administration. With the implementation of minimum wage, the public sector wage bill rose from N4 billion to N6.2 billion monthly. The additional N2.2 billion monthly directly improved the income levels of all our public sector workers and had a multiplier effect across the state, increasing our GDP”, she affirmed.

The Commissioner disclosed, “Since October when we have the general
downturn in the national economy, we have been challenged by the effects of a reduction in FAAC, and Internally Generated Revenue”.

According to Adeosun, a medium term financial strategy has been developed to assist to overcome the imbalance, stressing that no worker would be retrenched has being speculated.

She recalled that under Isiaka’s administration as Gateway Holdings
Company General Manager, the company took a loan of N1.6billion to construct a head office and a mega station, “but it is a shame that there is nothing beyond a foundation to show for the loan. And in addition, no N1 was paid to offset the loan before they (last administration) left office.”

Meanwhile, a socio-economic group, Ogun Professionals for Development OPD), has thrown its weight behind the re-election of the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun in Saturday’s governorship poll.

It premised its support for the governor on the prevalent peace and security in the state, which is conducive to growth and development, noting “Ogun cannot afford to return to the dark days of insecurity, violence, mismanagement of public funds and other atrocities that scared away investors and stagnated development.”

The group, according to a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Prince Dele Taiwo, said, “The actions of Governor Amosun since mounting the saddle of leadership in 2011 are in synch with democratic norms. Little wonder Ogun State that was ranked the lowest in Nigeria by the global institution, the World Bank, under the administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is today ranked among the top five states in terms of being investor-friendly, a noble feat achieved under the leadership of Senator Amosun.”

The professional body also noted that contrary to what obtained under the previous government of the PDP in the state, the opposition under the present administration has access to the state media, move about without molestation or attack and express themselves without fear.

OPD recalled that whereas the governorship debates in 2007 and 2011 ended in fracas as opposition candidates and their supporters were attacked with dangerous weapons right at the venues of the debates, the 2015 governorship debate witnessed no incident.
It therefore urged the electorate to vote massively for APC in order to sustain the current peace and development


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