Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said that none of the 18 Local Government Councils of the state could pay salaries under his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole.
He disclosed this on Monday at the Government House, in Benin City, during a visit by the team members of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Study Tour Course 42.
The governor, who was represented at the meeting by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, said the 18 local government councils of the state were owing salaries and pension entitlements at the time the national chairman of the APC left office as governor.
He blamed the deployment of non-state actors as revenue collectors who deprived the government of revenue, for the indebtedness of the local government councils.
According to him; “By the time Oshiomhole left office, the 18 LGAs were owing salaries; they could not pay. Pensioners were demonstrating at Ring Road on a daily basis and teachers were not paid too. But as at today, the good news is that the same LGAs that were getting N1.5 million during Oshionmhole tenure now get a minimum of N85 million monthly.
“Out of the 18 LGAs that were owing salaries, 15 have been able to clear these arrears and are paying salaries as and when due.
“Of course, the thugs will not be happy about this. That is the fightback we are witnessing now. But the Obaseki-led administration needed to fight thuggery to bring sanity to the state.”
The governor said he would continue to demonstrate prudence in handling the state’s resources, paying salaries as and when due, among other laudable feats.
He also added that his government was also assisting security outfits in the state to ensure they carry out their duties without much hassles in the state.
He noted, “When you see people talking of stomach infrastructure, it is a matter of choice. There are governors in the country who cannot pay salaries; but in this state, state workers get salaries every 26 of the month. It is because we have a leader who has decided to work for the benefit of the people.”