Why governors can’t pay salaries in their states – Kalu
A one-time Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzo Kalu has attributed the inability of the current state governors in the country to pay the wages of workers, in spite of enhanced allocations, to their alleged excessive spendings on frivolous travels.
The former governor, who spoke to State House Correspondents after a private meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinabjo at the presidential villa, Abuja yesterday, however exempted some governors who he said were fixing their states. Speaking against the backdrop of the recent demand for more funds by the governors to meet up with their statutory obligations, Kalu said that the demand was unnecessary, revealing that the states already had sufficient funds to function optimally.
He noted that the governors had the penchant of drawing ridiculous sums, sometimes as high as N35 million as traveling allowance, saying that unless they stopped tampering with the security votes for their personal use, the states wouldn’t see development. He said: “The issue of crying for funds, honestly, in my opinion, is unneeded.
These governors have enough funds to work for their people because if you check, the money drawn as security vote is excessive to begin with.
They should stop that. Unless they stop drawing on security votes they will not have enough funds to work with and most of them are living in ostentatious luxury, which is not their money. “Most of the governors are even living in Abuja now, they don’t even live in their states. If you look at the books very well, for each trip they make, they take traveling allowance of N35 million, which is un-heard of.
“What are you going to do with that? So, how are we going to progress? I have gone through Rivers, Adamawa and a few other states, they are hitting the ground, and they are working.
It is clear those who are working and those who are not. Let them sit down and do the job they were elected for.’’ The former governor also added that the private sector had a role to play in national development if the government could create an enabling environment for them.
“We can produce a lot of things and export, we can also farm and work on our mineral resources but we need to diversify, that is the key”.