We borrowed N3.46b to augment allocation, says Ondo government
• Akeredolu says no state can exist without borrowing
• Direct or indirect primary, I’ll still win, governor reiterates
• Jegede picks PDP form amid Ajayi’s speculated defection
The Ondo State Government, yesterday, said that it had been borrowing in the form of overdraft to enable it to pay workers’ salaries and pensions.
The state’s Head of Service, Mr. Dare Aragbaye, stated this at a news conference in Akure while briefing labour leaders on the state of the state’s finances.
Aragbaye said that as of April 2020, the state was indebted to commercial banks to a tune of N3.46 billion on salary-related issues.
This was a sequel to the barrage of complaints and criticisms by workers, who accused the government of withholding their co-operatives and other deductions.
The aggrieved workers had lamented that the withheld deductions formed the bulk of the workers’ salaries, which many of them depend on to undertake personal capital projects.
But Aragbaye said that the delay in remittance of the deductions was caused by the dwindling resources, explaining that “deductions are not withheld unjustly.”
The head of the service, who refuted the rumour that the government had been paying half salary, assured them that the government would prioritise the payment of deductions within the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has expressed confidence that whatever mode of primaries the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will adopt, he will still clinch the ticket.
Akeredolu, who spoke with State House Correspondents after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that he was sure God would give him victory at the party’s primaries.
He said he was in the Villa to formally inform the President of his decision to run for re-election and to present his Expression of Interest forms to him.
Besides, Akeredolu yesterday justified his decision to procure a loan worth over N15 billion, saying it was aimed at fixing the comatose infrastructure in the state.
He stated this after he submitted his expression of interest and nomination forms aimed at securing his re-election bid in the state governorship poll.
In another development, amid speculation that the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, would move away from APC to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to contest the October 10, 2020 governorship election, the 2016 PDP governorship candidate in the state, Eyitayo Jegede, yesterday stormed the Abuja national secretariat of the party, alongside prominent stakeholders of the party in the National Assembly, to purchase nomination forms under the party.
Welcoming Jegede and his entourage, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, who spoke through the Deputy National Chairman, South, Yemi Akinwonmi, said the party was poised to organise a credible and transparent primary election come July 22, 2020.
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