Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
The valedictory State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting of the cabinet of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State held today, May 21, 2019 where some far-reaching decisions and approvals were taken that will certainly put smiles on the faces of primary school teachers and local government workers in the state.
Briefing journalists at a post-EXCO meeting, Commissioner for Information, Chief Patrick Ukah with whom was his counterpart, the Commissioner for Finance, Olorogun David Edevbie, however pointed out that although the EXCO valedictory meeting was held but that the state EXCO was not dissolved.
Ukah announced that the EXCO approved the payment of the old minimum wage arrears owed primary school teachers in the state from April 2011 to June 2019.
Besides, he announced that the government also approved to settle the outstanding salary arrears of local government employees and primary school teachers in the state.
Meanwhile, the Finance commissioner, Olorogun Edevbie also announced certain clarification by the EXCO in respect of grants and releases given to assist the local governments in the state.
Edevbie said N348 million grant was given to the local governments in February to cover salary arrears between April 2011 and June 2012. Another grant of N5 billion was given to the local governments to help them to pay salaries. “In 2015 N3.26 billion was provided to them and today it is converted into a grant, so they don’t need to pay back,” Edevbie said, pointing out that the state government also pay on monthly , 10 per cent of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the local governments.
Edevbie faulted the Nigeria Financial intelligence Unit (NFIU) for seeking to dabble into the area that the Constitution of Nigeria did not give it authority. “Section 162 of the Constitution provides how the account should be disbursed, and Section 7 of the Constitution also stipulates the powers of the state,” he said.
He further clarified that in Delta state State allocations from FAAC to the state Local government Joint Account, that such that is due to the local governments is transferred straight to the local government accounts straight. “And we have fully complied with the law.
Answering a Reporter’s question, and pointing out that it is his personal opinion and not that of the government, Edevbie said although the intention of NFIU is good but urged that NFIU should not go beyond the powers given to it. “I read the NFIU guideline. I think the intention is good, but I think that they should not ignore what the Constitution says about how to distribute the funds. I think they veered off out of the powers that the Constitution gave them,” he said.
Earlier also at the press briefing, the Commissioner for information, Chief Ukah had to the journalists that the State government has approved the appointment of His Royal Majesty, Ayegherese Samuel Otidi as the Odion-Ologbo of Okpele Enhwe Kingdom in Isoko South Local Government Area, and the amendment of the existing declaration of the monarch.
Ukah also announced the state government also gave approval to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) for the award of the contract for the construction and furnishing of 10 units of five-bedroom bungalows and four units two-bedroom semi-detatched bungalows at Okerenkoko Federal community, phase two in Warri-South West Local Government Area.
He also told his audience that approval has been given to DESOPADEC for the award of contract for the construction of health care centre with Doctor’s quarters at Utonila in Warri North Local Government Area.
Another approval was also given for the construction of Oloke-Bobi-Orubu-Orere concrete walk-way using cast cement (Phase two) in Warri South-West Local Government Area.