N5bn Loan: Bindow Admits Committing Blunder, Says Borrowing To Pay Salary Is Wrong
* Bindow threatened by fintiri-penatration of public servants with payments of outstanding salaries – literary critic
BY SAMA DAGASOYE
Governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow has faulted the decision he took in borrowing the sum of N5 billion to offset backlog of local government salary arrears, previously defined as clueless.
Bindow who made the position known during a live Hausa radio programme aired by the state government owned radio station anchored by Adamu Katakore noted that he was forced to take the errant decision in order to address a basic requirement of the local government workers that has to do with non payment of salaries.
The action, which position parties openly condemned to have been occasioned by over ambitiousness of a governor seeking by every means however unnecessary to succeed himself.
“How could Bindow come out campaigning? What could he have said with the unpaid salary arrears in spite of the bailouts and the Paris Club refund funds?” A political analyst would observe
Bindow accused past administrations in the state of bequeathing the backlog of salary arrears despite the huge allocations that accrued to them, noting that despite dearth of funds at his disposal, he found it extremely difficult to leave the local government workers in perpetual misery, hence his decision to borrow in order to address their plight.
“I know it is wrong to borrow and pay salary but because of the pitiable conditions of our workers, I have to take the decision to alleviate their suffering despite the fact that I was not responsible for the backlog of unpaid salary arrears.
“Since I straddled the reigns of power, there was never a month I failed to pay workers their salary despite dwindling revenue and the fact that the past administrations who left the salary arrears operated during economic boom,” he said.
However, the Fintiri apologists challenged Bindow to come out with the record of the so-called inherited salary debts. “It’s a hoax. Fintiri has paid all the outstanding arrears. He wanted to start paying leave grants when the law decided against his legitimacy as governor. Bindow should come out from the bluff as the citizens are not affected by defective memory,” The Fintiri apologist would say.
Bindow, in a subtle innuendo targeted against his arch rival and gubernatorial candidate of the PDP, said “while a previous government in the state earned the sobriquet of ATM for paying backlog of two months salary, my administration completely transformed the state to CBN through the payment of six, four and one months salary arrears simultaneously.”
Bindow added that at no time in history has any state government extends such level of magnanimity to the workers by injecting the sum of N5 billion into the economy, adding that by the token, the state has become a beehive of economic activities as markets were filled to the brim.
Critics have however faulted the Bindow lamentations. “He said it was wrong to pay Paul by robbing Peter of N5b, yet Peter’s borrowed N5b was able to boost the economy in the state. What a contradiction!