The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has called on the Enugu State government to render account of its utilisation of the N10 billion bailout fund it received from the federal government for the payment of arrears of salaries inherited from the previous administration in the state.
In a statement issued by the state chairman of the party, Mr. John Nwodo, the party cited reports allegedly quoting the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as listing Enugu State among states that squandered or diverted the bailout fund meant for payment of salaries of workers.
Said the party: “The report has it that Enugu State was granted N10,174,238,681.19 as bailout fund as at 16th November 2015 and that analysis of the documents submitted revealed that the State disbursed N5, 967,238,681.19 from the bailout fund to settle domestic debts and claimed that funds for the payments of staff salaries and emoluments was not yet accessed”.
The SDP described the report as not only disturbing but alarming, lamenting that a government that should pay workers their due entitlements and cater for their welfare has turned to be their tormentor.
“We are aware that retired local government staff are owed gratuities and pensions, likewise their counterparts in the mainstream civil service and other scheduled establishments.
“While we aware that the immediate past administration of Sullivan Chime plunged the state into heavy debts, it is no justification for the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration to divert fund meant for a specific purpose to another less important purpose”, the party stated.
It describe the alleged act of the government as reckless and condemnable, urging Governor Ugwuanyi to recall the sum already paid out to alleged debtors and utilize it solely for the purpose for which it was meant.
“We wish to ask question as to the remainder of the money. The state faces crisis of unemployment, infrastructure, health, education etc. There are no industries and wealth creating enterprises yet the government could so mindlessly shortchange the citizenry”, the party said further, adding that it considered the present administration as grossly insensitive to workers welfare and the demands of good governance.