Ondo workers, pensioners allege diversion of N20.9b Paris Club fund
• Threaten to relocate to governor’s office
• State govt denies claim, says FG revoked alert
Ondo State government has been asked to give account of the N20.9 billion Paris Club fund received from the Federal Government, alleging Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of misappropriation and insensitivity to the plight of the citizenry.
This was the grouse of the state civil service workers and pensioners under the platform of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), who protested yesterday at the Governor’s Office, Akure, paralysing activities in the area.
The workers and pensioners arrived at the Governor’s Office as early as 8:00 a.m. to defy the heavy rain, mounting barricade to prevent workers from entering the premises and chanting anti-government songs.
The pensioners expressed displeasure over non-payment of their gratuities and pensions for over six years, while the workers alleged that the state government was withholding and planning to divert the Paris Club loan refund by the Federal Government to a fixed bank account.
The pensioners issued a 15-day ultimatum to Akeredolu to meet their demands or should be ready to host them at the Government House as long as the state government refuses to pay them.
The workers threatened to resume at the entrance of the state secretariat office on daily basis until government settles the accumulated salaries and pension arrears.
Meanwhile, the state Head of Service, Mr. Toyin Akinkuotu, while addressing the protesters, said the state government was committed to the welfare of the workers in the state and would continue to give priority to payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.
Akinkuotu, who assured them that the state government would be transparent in the disbursement of the Paris Club refund, said: “Don’t forget in a hurry that this present government has been able to pay three months out of the seven months arrears owed by the immediate past administration in the state.”
But while the Deputy Accountant-General, Mr. Tunde Akinsanmi, confirmed that the state government received alert of N20.9 billion about four weeks ago, he said the amount was withdrawn by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from the state coffers.
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