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Edo scores high on budget, salary payment

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Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki (second right) acknowledging cheers from workers during the May Day celebrations at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.

* Obaseki reintegrating deportees, says NAPTIP boss

Edo State Government does not owe its secondary school teachers, pensioners, and its secretariat workers any salary, according to a report. Edo is also one of the six states that had been transparent in its use of funds by providing its full 2017 budget to the public.

In a study carried out recently by BudgIT, a civic technology organisation, it was also disclosed that as at May 15 this year, the Edo government only owed one month salary to primary school teachers and state independent workers.

The organisation also urged the federal government to install measures for accountability on extra-statutory funds, as this would help to understand how states deployed such funds.

“We hereby ask the Federal Government should tighten its accountability structures for the series of extra-statutory funds that are provided to state government, which currently has reached N1.75tn,” a statement said.

However, on the salary being owed, a statement from the Office of the Chief Press Secretary to the governor commended the report as released by BudgIT. It explained that the state had no desire to owe its workers or pensioners and that the governor had already finalised the modalities to ensure that all salaries were paid for the month by the 26th of such months.

Meanwhile, Edo State government is reintegrating victims of human trafficking deported from Italy, Libya and other parts of the world into the Nigerian society, an agency chief has affirmed.

They are to receive free education as part of the state’s reintegration process aimed at resettling them in the country, it was revealed.

Julie Okah Donli, Director-General (DG) of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), disclosed this in an interview with The Osasu Show, a television programme.

While she explained that the agency did its bit by counselling them, the DG also noted that the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, had been helpful in reintegrating many deportees and victims of human trafficking, into the Nigerian society.

She said: “It (reintegration) is not just a NAPTIP problem; it is a national problem, so we want to engage the governors now. His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, the governor of Edo State, has been gracious enough to come and collaborate with us.

“For every Edo State indigene, he will take responsibility by taking care of their education. We are trying to appeal to other governors to replicate the same thing that the Edo State government has decided to do.”

On how NAPTIP was dealing with the increased number of deportees, Donli said the agency provided food and water, while processing and profiling them. This was only for victims of trafficking, not illegal immigrants.



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