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CSNAC queries Gov. Masari’s quest for N11b bail-out fund, petitions CBN

By News Express on 14/09/2015

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Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has written to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to investigate an alleged request for N11 billion bail-out fund by the Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari.

In its petition to the CBN, dated September 9 and signed by the Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, the anti-corruption group quoted a recent news report by an online media: “In its publication of September 8, 2015, Premium Times reported that the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, misrepresented facts and the true financial status of his state, claiming fictitious indebtedness to public workers of the state in order to fraudulently and undeservedly benefit to the tune of N11 billion from the intervention fund.” It could be recalled that

following the inability of most states of the federation to pay workers’ salaries for months, the Federal Government approved the sum of N338 billion as bail-out fund for insolvent states, to enable them meet their obligations of salaries and wages and burgeoning interest on bank loans.

According to Mr Suraju, the online report stated that in a letter to the Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly, titled ‘Outstanding salary for workers of the State and Local Governments,’ dated August 26, 2015, “Mr Masari claimed that on his assumption of office on May 29, his government inherited, two months outstanding salaries of the state's civil servants and local government employees, from the previous Ibrahim Shema administration.”

The governor reportedly demanded: “I would like to request for the Honourable House’s consent for the state government to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria for a bail-out of outstanding workers’ salary in the state and local governments. Mr Speaker may wish to know that at the time of the take-off of this administration, the state and local governments owed workers two months’ salary, to the tune of N11,086,632,741.32 broken down as follows: Katsina State: N3,646,943,099.80; 34 local government councils: N7,439,689,641.32. Total: N11,086,632,741.32.  In view of the need for the state government and local governments to meet their obligation in payment of outstanding workers’ salary, considering the lean resources inherited from the former administration, that it has become necessary to apply for the bail- out, on behalf of the state and local governments.”

However, the ant-sleaze campaigner said the Premium Times report had alleged these claims to be false, noting: “Katsina State was not originally listed as one of the insolvent states and all workers in the services of both the state and local governments had their full salaries paid up till May, when Mr Masari became governor.” The report added that the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Abdul Labaran, confirmed that workers were not owed and that their salaries had been completely paid up to August.

 CSNAC averred that this is an alleged case of attempted fraud and corruption, which the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is working tirelessly to stem its tide, stressing: “This action by a governor of the President's state tends to cast serious aspersion on the President’s anti-corruption drive. With Central Bank’s vested mandate of vetting and approving bail-out for each state – after meeting certain conditions – we, therefore, by this petition, request that a thorough investigation be conducted into this allegation as stated above, and other likely states, in order to ensure a full recovery of any fund that might have been fraudulently received on the basis of false claims by some states.”

•Photo shows Governor Masari.

Source News Express

Posted 14/09/2015 6:53:32 PM





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