EXCLUSIVE: After Paris Club Refund, Kogi To Expend N12bn Loan On Salary Arrears
Kogi Govt Plans To Clear Salary Arrears With N12bn Bank Loan
Contrary to the barefaced lie of up-to-date salary payment to civil servants in the state, the Kogi State government is actually pursuing different requests for loans totalling N12 billion to be jointly financed by four commercial banks to enable it clear salary arrears of workers in 2018.
DailyWitness learnt that despite receiving tranches of Paris Club refunds and special bailout money from the Federal Government, the state government still owes workers several months of salary, a development that has pitched the state governor, Yahaya Bello against some prominent sons and daughters of the state, notably Senator Dino Melaye.
Credible documents emanating from from state’s Ministry of Finance and sighted by our reporter indicated that the N12 billion loan request was before participating commercial banks since late 2017 with each bank to cough out at least N3billion or N3.5billion term loan payable within a period of two years and with a issuance of Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) by the state government as collateral.
The participating commercial banks are Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, Union Bank and Zenith Bank as approved by the State Executive Council (SEC).
Besides obtaining the loan to address funding gap in the payment of salary arrears, at about the same time in 2017, the state government also approached Fidelity Bank for a term loan of N1,286,343,183.55 to enable it access 2017 matching grant from Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC).
Consequently, in March this year, the state government issued ISPO instrument to the participating banks with which to effect a repayment of the loan – the sum of N236.8 million on a monthly basis for 18 months – to each bank from a Kogi State Government Statutory Account (FAAC) domiciled with Zenith Bank with effect from April, 2018.
The state government had also told the banks that it “will accommodate the repayment of the credit facility conveniently” with expected streams of inflows like the final payment of N21.2 billion Paris Club refund; N14 billion refund on capital projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
Others are revenue generation from the implementation of Geographic Information System (GIS) project; N30 billion forced sale value of the N75 billion market value on disposal of Kogi state Liaison office in Lagos, Kogi House in Abuja, Kogi International Market, among others; and improved inflow from IGR.
Daily Witness’ findings however showed that the loans obtained by the state government and the applicable terms were approved by the Kogi State House of Assembly as indicated in the correspondences obtained by DailyWitness dated December 5, 2017, addressed to the state governor and signed by the Speaker, Hon. Mathew Kolawole.