*announces discovery of 850 ghost workers
The Anambra state Gov Willie Obiano has disclosed that he would no longer finance the construction and reconstruction of Federal Highways in the state as according to him, the Federal Government is presently owing the state N34 billion already spend on such projects round the state in the past.
He lamented that the reconstruction of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway was not captured in the 2016 Federal Government budget, the governor implored the President Muhammad Buhari to reconsider work on the road to reduce the suffering of the people.
On his inability to conduct local government election in the state, which became due last month, the governor blamed it on lack of funds, pointing out that, “but I don’t use local government funds for anything because the funds were not enough to run the local governments. Sometimes, I bail them out to enable them pay their retired workers”, Obiano said.
The governor revealed that his administration had uncovered about eight hundred and fifty (850) ghost workers on its payroll in its all out bid to eliminate waste in its expenditure profile.
The governor who revealed this Thursday night during an interactive with few media practitioners in the state said it was part of the mechanisms adopted by his administration to cope with the harsh economic realities in the nation due to dwindling oil revenues.
According to him, “We are one of the four states in the country that are still paying regular salaries to our workers and carrying out meaningful projects because of prudent management of our resources in the midst hard times.
“It’s not rocket science. We’ve been able to achieve all these by eliminating waste. If I was getting 100 percent of Federal allocation when I assumed office in 2014, it’s now 27 percent”, he noted.
He bemoaned the negative effects the unexpected sharp drop in revenues was having on his development plans, but reassured he would remain focused on the four pillars of his administration-Agriculture, Trade and Commerce, Industrialization and Oil and Gas as well as 13 ancillary enablers would continue to guide and propel his blueprints for the state.
Giving himself a pat on the back in the last two years, Gov Obiano noted that the Internally Generated Revenue of the state had improved from N500 million per month where he met it to an average of N1.2 billion monthly.
He said his administration was targeting N2.2 billion IGR monthly for the state, but ruled out heavy taxing of the people.
He said the peaceful and secure environment he had created had made the state an investment destination, noting that the state had earned about 3.2 billion US dollars in that respect, with attendant job creation for the youth.
The governor said the state had moved to facilitate 85 megawatts of electricity through private sector as an addition to the 85 megawatts the state is currently receiving from the national grid.
He also promised that the power station in Nnewi which had reached 60 per cent completion would soon come on stream.
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