Despite Kogi state claims that she cannot pay full salaries as a result of a shortfall in revenues and has opted for loans to fund infrastructure, Mr. Edward Onoja, the state Deputy Governor will be spending the sum of N470 million on transportation.
A visit to the Kogi State website shows that the state had in its 2021 annual budget, approved the sum of N470 million for the Deputy Governor’s transportation and tours.
A breakdown of the N470 million that will be spent by Mr. Onoja, the Deputy Governor shows, N235 million was approved for his Travel and Transport-General, N165 million for Travel and Transport-Others, N30 million for Travel Allowances, and N40 million for Expenses Incidentals to Governor’s Tour.
Worse still, the state continues to pay its civil servants’ percentage salaries while some do not get at all, a decision its officials say arose as a result of lack of finance accruing to the state.
The state had last week taken a loan of US100 million from the African Development Bank to fund its agricultural project. An action she said was undertaken because it has no money.
A senior state official while speaking to MAWA Foundation said often the budget is designed for the governor, his deputy, top government officials, and his friends without considering projects that will benefit the poor.
Mr. Ilemona, a civil servant, who prefers only his first name mentioned, told MAWA officials, that amount is enough to pay many teachers’ salaries in the state that had gone months without sallies.
This is even as Kogi State has a huge infrastructural deficit, with a total collapse of its education and health sector.
One would have expected that the Kogi State government would have channeled a huge amount allocated for the running of the Governor and his Deputy offices to infrastructural development particularly in education and health that are grossly inadequate in both rural and urban cities.
But, the state prefers to spend its monies in frivolities and opt for loans that further yoke her into poverty and struggle for development.