Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello yesterday said the salaries of his deputy, Simon Achuba, had not been stopped at any point since he became deputy governor.
Bello, in a statement by his spokesman, Kingsley Fanwo, was responding to a demand notice and ultimatum by Achuba over alleged non-payment of his entitlements of over N800 million. Fanwo said Achuba’s salaries had been paid up to the same date as that of Bello and other political office holders in the state.
Fanwo, while describing the claims contained in the deputy governor’s demand notice as “bogus”, expressed the readiness of the state government to meet him in court should he proceeds there to ventilate his alleged grievances.
“It is our belief that the claim for salaries at paragraph 4 of the letter of Demand was done to generate sensational headlines in the news as there is no stated salary arrears in the prepared breakdown of claimed entitlements attached to the letter of demand.
“The sum of N786, 427,480 of the outrageous N819, 709,980 claimed by the Deputy Governor have not been approved let alone processed for payment by the Government.
“The deputy governor is aware that by virtue of extant financial regulations, even where expenditures are provided for in the budget, they are still subject to approvals based on an estimation that funds to defray will be available; and where they are approved, the release of such funds still depends on the availability of funds,” he said.