Oyo Pays Workers’ Salaries from N7.2b Paris Club Refund
By Dipo Olowookere
The government of Oyo State has confirmed receiving the sum of N7.2 billion as its own share of the Paris Club over deductions funds.
According to the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, the fund was released after state Governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi made efforts to get Oyo State included in the list of beneficiaries.
The Commissioner, who briefed the media on Wednesday in Ibadan, revealed that 60 percent of the fund collected has been added to the federal allocation to the state to pay salaries of workers for the months of August and September 2016.
Mr Arulogun noted that the state government had announced in December 2016 and reiterated it early January 2017 that the state was excluded from the initial beneficiary states of Paris Club over deduction funds but the governor reassured at different fora that he would work round the clock to ensure the state gets its own share.
“The efforts of Governor Abiola Ajimobi have yielded fruitful results. We will all remember that Oyo State was initially excluded from the states that benefitted from the Paris Club over Deduction Funds.
“The Federal Government claimed that the previous administration had already collected the state’s share.
“However, Governor Ajimobi was not at peace with the development and swung into action to ensure that the state was included on the list.
“The governor therefore mandated the Ministry of Finance to reconcile accounts with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja. The results of the reconciliation and the governor’s spirited efforts led to the payment of N7.2bn to Oyo State.
“We have used 60 percent of the funds received to pay salaries as promised by the governor during the interfaith service of the Oyo State Government held on January 3, 2017.
“The Oyo State appreciates the cooperation of the Minister and Federal Ministry of Finance officials who facilitated the payment that has brought some degree of succour to workers in the state and will enable government deliver some more projects as dividends of democracy,” Mr Arulogun stressed.