The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Friday revealed that 16 states were yet to disburse N57.66 billion out of the funds released by President Muhammadu Buhari to bail them out from the backlog of unpaid salaries.
The ICPC also stated that Imo, Zamfara, and Enugu States have diverted the funds to other uses rather than the payment of salaries it was meant for. Other states have either not collected their bailout funds or have simply refused to utilise their shares. Such states included Sokoto, Kogi and Bayelsa State.
Bayelsa is owing workers up to 5 months unpaid salaries and allowances.
In a statement released in Abuja on Friday, spokesperson of the commission, Edet Ufot, said the finding was contained in the anti-graft agency’s report of its investigation into the use of bailout funds by 23 states.
The commission said:
“As part of the Federal Government’s effort to end the lingering crisis of unpaid workers’ salaries in most states of the federation, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a comprehensive relief package designed to salvage the situation through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Special Intervention Fund which offered affected states’ soft loans solely for the purpose of paying the backlog of salaries.
“Whereas the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is yet to officially confirm this to the commission, the 27 benefiting states from the open sources are: Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“Following strident allegations of diversion of these bail-out funds and to avoid industrial unrest, ICPC in collaboration with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) decided to monitor the disbursement of the bailout funds in the 27 benefiting states. However, relying on available sources we could only cover 23 states.
“The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), working in concert with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), made good its resolve to monitor the bailout funds for the offset of salary arrears loaned to 27 states of the federation as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Following the conclusion of the monitoring exercise, the commission hereby wishes to issue, for public notice, the report of the exercise. The commission also will not hesitate to provide updates to this report where applicable.
“It is important to note that the monitoring exercise report and probable updates are being released to the public by the ICPC to foster understanding between workers and the state governments by providing a transparent process that eliminates information gaps that often lead to rumour-mongering.
“The commission is convinced that this will promote a healthy atmosphere for interaction between the parties on the matter.”
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