Delta State Government as at the end of October 2016 owes workers and pensioners in the state the sum of N9, 236,203,719.40 as arrears.
This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Finance, Olorogun David Edevbie during the presentation of his Ministry’s performance at the Delta State Ministerial Press Briefing held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He noted that Delta State Government under the leadership of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has by and large managed to pay salaries consistently since June 2015 despite dwindling revenue receipts from the Federation Account caused by a decline in international crude oil prices and vandalized Oil pipelines and flow stations in the state by militants. As a result, Delta State, which was once second in 13% mineral revenue receipts, has now dropped to fourth after Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States.
The Finance Commissioner revealed that aggregate revenue for the period 29 May 2015 and 30 September 2016 was N192.50 billion compared to N280.71 billion budgeted for the period.
He further disclosed that Delta State’s domestic debt as at September 30, 2016 was N237.80 billion and is one of the highest in the country. Debts owed to local contractors alone was in excess of N100bn while the remainder relates to borrowings from commercial banks, the 2nd Delta State Bond, bail out assistance from the Federal Government and Pension and Gratuity arrears.
Stressing that most of the debt was inherited from previous administration, the commissioner explained that the debts to contractors should be reduced to a more manageable level after the completion of the ongoing verification exercise and renegotiation with the state’s key contractors.
Explaining the payment of salaries and pensions in the state, David Edevbie said, “The State Government is committed to paying the monthly salaries of civil servants and other workers as well as pensioners as regularly as possible in line with the policy of timely and effective service delivery to the people. However, owing to the continuous decline in the revenues accruing to the State most especially from the Federal Allocation, it has been very difficult to meet the full payment of salaries and pension as and when due.”
“This problem is not unique to Delta State and is a problem nationwide. The State Government as a matter of necessity devised prudent ways of ensuring that staff salaries and pensions are paid promptly. This was achieved by withholding certain deductions during months when the revenue was unable to accommodate the total salaries. In such cases, only the net salaries were paid to the beneficiaries while the deductions were released subsequently upon availability of funds,” said the Commissioner.
In an informative power point presentation of his Ministry’s achievements for the period under review, the Finance Commissioner declared that as the end of October 2016, Delta State Government owes N9, 236,203,719.40 as arrears of such deductions to its workers and pensioners.
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