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Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has watered – down the expectation of many when he said he won’t discuss the shortcomings of his predecessor Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
The Governor said this yesterday while addressing the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State stressing that he will rather focus on ensuring good governance in the State.
The Governor added that although he met little or no money in the State treasury when he assumed office, his administration went out of its way to pay the workers’ salary with credit facilities from banks.
The governor also added that, if his administration must succeed, he must move forward and be focused, saying “We have by far, too many things to do than to begin to be bogged down by what someone did or what he did not do or what he left behind.”
He said, “I cannot begin to describe in the open to you the Ogun State that we inherited. I cannot begin to describe it to you. And I will not because I have made up my mind that publicly and privately, I will not discuss anything about that past administration.”
“We have resolved to draw the line and to move forward from there. We need to be focused. We are going to rebrand and relaunch the security trust fund.”
Abiodun further added that his first challenge in office was how to pay the May workers’ salary, saying that he had to call his friends who are Managing Directors of banks to get a credit facility of over N7 billion to pay the workers.
His words, “30th of May was our first day in office. And on the 31st, it dawns on me that it was the end of the month and we need to pay salary.”
“But here we are on our second day in the office. I don’t even have an office; I don’t even know how to sign any document; I don’t even know what the protocols are.
“Suddenly, we realized that it was 31st. And I intend to keep my end of the tripartite agreement. So, I called the Head of Service. I told him that we must pay salary. But he said to me that “you are new in government and everybody understands that you just assumed office and we don’t have that expectation of you paying salary now. They (workers) will understand. There is very little or no money. We can talk to them.”
“But I told the Head of Service, either they (workers) are expectant or not, it is my promise to the people that salaries will be paid as and when due. So, I picked my phone and called my friends who are MDs (Managing Directors) at different banks. I told them I need to pay salaries and this is the little I have; almost nothing in the State account. I requested for a credit facility to allow me to pay over N7billion which is the State wage bill. That day, my intention was that maybe one or two will oblige me, but the five banks that I called obliged me.”
“To the glory of God, we paid salaries that day. Civil servants began to get their alert that evening. And I began to feel a sense of uplift and fulfillment. And this was my first task in office, and I managed to accomplish it”, the Governor said.
“We will ensure that pension contributions are forwarded to the PFAs, contrary to what obtained in the past. You cannot be deducting money from people and not forward it to the PFAs because we from the private sector understand the implication of that.”
“Ogun State remains the only State that has not issued a bond. We cannot issue a bond because they will ask you, there is a checklist. We have not forwarded pensions to the PFAs. So they cannot issue a bond.”
The Governor later held a closed-door meeting with the party chieftains.
Briefing journalists later, the Publicity Secretary of party’s caretaker Committee, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye said the Governor called the meeting to brief them on the activities of Abiodun’s administration in the last one month.
The meeting had in attendance former and serving Senators Gbenga Kaka, Tolu Odebiyi, Lanre Tejuoso, former Deputy Governors, Salimot Badru, Segun Adesegun, former House of Assembly Speakers, Titi Oseni-Gomez and Suraj Adekunbi among others.