By Suzan Edeh
Bauchi-As organised labour in the country joins its counterparts around the world to celebrate this year’s May Day, the Bauchi State has disclosed that it inherited the sum of N14.5 billion outstanding gratuities from the past administration.
The State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar who stated this yesterday during the celebration of workers day at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi, stated that the issue of outstanding gratuities was a nationwide problem and not only perculiar to Bauchi state.
The governor assured that his administration was passionate towards the settlement of outstanding gratuities, saying that the federal government through the debt management office was going to issue loans to states in order for them to settle all outstanding gratuities.
He debunked the allegation that his administration diverted the Paris Club Fund given by the federal government to states, saying that his government used eigthty five percent of the fund to settle outstanding salaries between the state and state and local government.
” When i got the Paris Club Fund for the state, i called the local government chairmen and inform them about it. I then used the sharing formula i got from the federal ministry of finance and gave the local government 42% while state got 58%”
” The local government are even owing me over N600 million because they needed money to settle two months salaries.I gave them the money gotten from the Paris Club Fund, so i don’t know someone will say i diverted the money for other uses”
He assured that his government will introduce the whistle blower policy to flush out the syndrome of ghost workers and that workers Leave Transport grant and other charges will be addressed.