The Enugu State government does not owe its workforce or retirees and therefore does not apply its share of Paris Club refunds for payment of arrears of salaries and pensions.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the State Executive Council Meeting on Friday 8 September 2017, State Information Commissioner, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, described as false and misleading, newspaper reports which claim that Enugu State government is owing workers because the state has yet to utilize its share of the second tranche of the Paris Club refund.
“The imputation is wrong, very wrong. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is not owing salaries or pensions to Enugu State workers and retirees and it is therefore not necessary for the state government to use any portion of the Paris Club refund for salary or pensions payment.
Enugu has applied its share of the refunds – both the first and the second tranches – to other development projects, as is done by other states where public funds are prudently managed.
“Each time we receive the refunds, Governor Ugwuanyi calls a meeting stakeholders, including community leaders, local council chairmen, trade union leaders and others, to decide how to apply the funds to projects that promote employment generation, rural development, provision of social services, and security in the state.
“The stakeholders also decide sharing formula between the state government and local government councils while members of the State Executive Council subsequently vote for selected state government projects that the funds will be used to execute.
“There is a misconception about the noble intention of the Federal Government to see that workers in distressed states get paid their wages.
“For these states, what the federal government offers is encouragement for them to use the funds to ease the plight of working people; the Federal Government does not dictate to states on how to use their share of the funds.”
This fact should have been clear to the media by now, to avoid misreporting the actions of states such as Enugu where workers are not being owed and refunds must therefore be applied to other development projects.